Skip to main content

Full text of "Italian medals"

See other formats


i 



Ulrich MiddeldorJ 



Digitized by tine Internet Arcliive 

in 2013 



http://arcliive.org/details/italiamedalOOfabri 



ITALIAN MEDALS 



4 



.0* 



ITALIAN MEDALS 



BY 

CORNELIUS VON FABRICZY 



TRANSLATED BY 

MRS. GUSTAVUS W. HAMILTON 



WITH FORTY-ONE PLATES 



LONDON: DUCKWORTH AND CO. 
3, HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN 
1904 



THE GETTY CENTER 
LIBRARY 



PREFACE 



INCE the appearance, between 1881 and 1887, of 
the great works of Friedlander, Heiss, and Armand, 
publications on the subject of Italian medals have 
been confined to special articles in periodicals and a few 
catalogues of public or private collections. The Medaillen 
der italienischen Renaissance of Cornelius von Fabriczy 
(Leipzig, 1903) marks a fresh stage in the progress of the 
study. Its value as a summary of recent research, and as 
an independent contribution to the subject, has been generally 
recognised. It is also of interest as showing how the barrier 
between the study of medals, regarded from the old-fashioned 
strictly numismatic view, and the wider study of Italian art 
is gradually disappearing, to the advantage of both sides. 
The translation of such a book into the English language 
suggested itself as obviously desirable. It was at first hoped 
that the author would be able to revise the text, so that the 

V 



Preface 



English translation would be practically a second edition of 
his work. As, however, the proposed arrangement broke 
down, Mrs. Hamilton has simply translated the book as it 
stands. A few insignificant additions have been made in the 
footnotes, and distinguished by the use of square brackets. 
It need hardly be said that the author is in no way responsible 
for the work in its English form, except in so far as it faith- 
fully renders the German text. I have had the opportunity 
of revising the translation both in manuscript and in type. 
The majority of the illustrations are from the same blocks as 
were used for the original work ; but in the case of the medals 
by Vittore Pisano and Pasti, and that of Tomaso Rangone, 
new blocks have been made, in all cases without reduction. 

G. F. HILL 

British Museum 

August, 1904 



vi 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Preface . . . . . . . v 

THE MEDALS OF THE QUATTROCENTO 
I. Introduction . . . ... 3 

II. VlTTORE PiSANO AND HIS SUCCESSORS IN NORTH ItALY 27 

III. The Medallists of Venice, Bologna, and Neigh- 

bourhood . . . ... 71 

IV. The Florentine Medals . ... 103 
V. The Medallists in Rome . ... 153 

THE STRUCK MEDALS OF THE CINQUECENTO 



I. The Medals of the Medicean Court . . . 177 

II. The Papal Mint and its Masters . . 186 

III. The Medallists of Padua and Milan 196- 

Index . . . . ... 213 



vii 



THE MEDALS OF THE QUATTROCENTO 



I 

INTRODUCTION 



THE MEDALS OF 
THE QUATTROCENTO 



I 

INTRODUCTION 

EDALS are discs of metal resembling coins, which 
are not, however, meant to pass current as money in 
commerce, but are exclusively intended as memorials 
of persons or events. They are distinguished as such by the 
reliefs on each side, usually a portrait-head on the upper side 
(the obverse), an allegorical or symbolical, or more rarely an 
historic, scene on the back (the reverse). In both reliefs the 
artist should express his own artistic character ; he should 
inspire the portrait with intellect and soul, infuse into the 
allegory individuality and life, the embodiment of his 
own ideas and talents, so that his work, limited though its 
sphere may be, may appeal to the beholder as a genuine work 

3 




Italian Medals 



of art, revealing to him a glimpse into the mind of its 
creator. 

According to this definition, the medal was, save in a 
limited sense, unknown to ancient art. For certain isolated 
Greek and Roman works of this nature, struck in commemora- 
tion of historic personages and events, and also the imperial 
medallions, which begin with a gold piece of Augustus and end 
with the magnificent medallion of King Theodoric recently 
discovered at Sinigaglia, were entirely official, legally current 
pieces, struck in strict accordance with the prevailing standard 
of coinage, although they may also have been distributed by 
sovereigns as mere marks of honour. On the other hand, the 
nearest parallel to the modern commemorative medals are the 
so-called contorniates, which first appeared about the middle 
of the fifth century, in later imperial times. These are the 
large copper pieces resembling coins, struck on the occasion 
of the public games and exhibitions, and presented or sold to 
the spectators, with representations of victorious athletes or 
charioteers, of bygone emperors who had rendered special 
services in the institution of the festivals ; they also, however, 
frequently depicted mythological subjects, as well as scenes 

4 



Introduction 



taken from the epics of Homer ; finally, they were sometimes 
adorned with portraits of celebrated poets and philosophers. 
Since to all appearance they were of private origin and 
had no connection with the currency, we are justified in 
regarding them as incidental predecessors of the modern 
medal. ^ 

The Middle Ages were more familiar with the idea 
of the commemorative coin, with the use of the type to 
depict persons and events of historic note. The pieces 
which belong to this category are a bracteate of Bernard of 
Saxony, celebrating his elevation to the dukedom ; another 
of Boleslav of Poland, struck on the occasion of his peni- 
tential pilgrimage to Gnesen ; denarii of the Dukes of 
Bohemia, with graceful representations of secular and sacred 
events, or even the head of the Arch Enemy ; a series of 
denarii of the Bishops of Liege in the twelfth century, 
engraved some with secular, some with sacred designs. 
These, however, were still current coin, and do not therefore 

* Compare on this point A. von Sallet, Milnzen und MedaiUen, Berlin, 1898, pp. 72, 100, 
106, and 193. [More recent is the article by B. Pick, in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopiidie, iv. 
1 153 ff. , according to which the contorniates began in the fourth century. They were 
probably intended for use in some kind of board-game. — G. F. H.] 

5 



Italian Medals 



coincide with what we understand as medals. In this stricter 
sense we are only acquainted with a few exclusively decorative 
pieces or badges of honour of the Middle Ages. Such is the 
large gold piece, surrounded with several rows of pearls, of 
the great Merovingian King Dagobert I. (622-638); such also 
a similar piece of Louis the Pious (814-840), which by its 
unusual thickness is proved to be not a coin, but an official 
badge of honour : finally the bracteate-like decorative medal- 
lion of Henry I. (916-936), with its broad filigree frame, 
bestowed perhaps, like our own orders, as a mark of honour 
on a noble of the imperial Court.^ 

The true character of commemorative medals is first found 
in two pieces which correspond in style, form, execution, and 
subject, but which are separated from the last of the above- 
named medals by an interval of nearly five hundred years. 
These are the unusually large medals (9 or 9^^ cm. in diameter), 
celebrated and much discussed in the learned world since the 
sixteenth century, which bear respectively the portraits of the 
Emperor Constantine on horseback and a bust of Heraclius 

^ Concerning commemorative coins in the Middle Ages, compare Zeitschrift fiir 
Numismatik, xiii. 322 fF., and A. von Sallet, loc. cit., p. 174 ff. 

6 



Introduction 



on their obverses, a representation of the Fountain of Life, 
and of the translation of the relic of the Holy Cross to 
Constantinople on their reverses.^ From the inventory of the 
art collection of John of Berry (1340-1416), brother of 
Charles V. of France, it has lately been proved that both 
pieces were in the cabinet of the Duke, the greatest con- 
noisseur and collector of the fourteenth century, among a 
number of gold medallions bearing the portraits of Roman 
Emperors, mediaeval imitations of the antique, vi'hich were 
intended to present the semblance of antiquity. In this in- 
tention the artists who designed these two medals at latest in 
the last decade of the fourteenth century, and more probably 
somewhat earlier, were but partially successful. The concep- 
tion of type and costume in both bears throughout the stamp 
of the Flemish-Burgundian art of the end of the Middle Ages, 
which dominated the creations of sculptors, goldsmiths, minia- 
turists, and tapestry-workers of the entire west of Europe. 
Their connection with the Court art of this period is, however, 
proved above all by the fact that, although apparently produced 

Illustrations of these two most remarkable pieces are to be found in the Revue 
Numisviatique, 1890, PI. IV. -VI., and in the Jahrbuch der Knnsthistorischen Sammlungen 
des Oesterreichischen Kaiserhauses, vol. xviii., PI. XXII. and XXIII. 

7 



Italian Medals 



with the intention of imitating the antique, the model of their 

arrangement is borrowed not from the antique, but from the 

ornamental heraldic style of the mediaeval seals. From them 

are derived the size and shape, the elaborate circular legend, 

the representation of the Emperor on horseback. In one point, 

however, they deviate essentially from the seals, as also from 

all previous medals. They are not struck, as these invariably 

were, but cast and afterwards chased. 

If, however, we search in the province of medallic art for 

the earliest evidence of a revival of the antique, undertaken 

with entire freedom and the most subtle understanding, we 

must cross the Alps to Padua. This city, owing to the traditions 

of its University and the living example of its highly honoured 

guest, Petrarch (who, among other things, had already 

collected Roman coins), was dedicated beyond all other 

places, throughout the Middle Ages and until the dawn of 

the Renaissance, to the cult of the antique. Here the tyrants 

of the city, Francesco Carrara, father and son — members of 

that princely family who first raised the banner of the antique 

in Italy, and first did homage to the ancient idea of Fame — 

on the occasion of the recovery of their lordship in 1390, 

8 



Introduction 



caused two commemorative medals to be struck,^ in which 
we recognise the ancestors of that widespread and brilHant 
posterity, which as "Medals of the Renaissance" arouse our 
admiration to so high a degree. Both pieces, examples of 
which have been preserved to our own days, are conceived 
entirely in the spirit of the antique, and are imitations of 
Roman imperial coins (PI. VII., 2, 3).^ In combination with 
a reverse taken almost without alteration from the mediaeval 
coins of the Carrara family, with the representation of a car 
as the canting arms of the family, one of them displays on 
the obverse the likeness of Francesco II. Strikingly — even 
to the characteristic truncation of the neck — does it resemble 
the portrait of Vitellius on the sesterces of that Emperor, 
while the bust of the elder Carrara (Francesco I.), in the 

^ [The medals must have been issued by the young-er Francesco, since his father was 
from 1388 until his death in 1393 the prisoner of Gian Galeazzo Visconti. — G. F. H.] 

^ The illustrations in our book are taken for the most part from the works of Heiss and 
Friedlander, from the Jahrbuch of the Royal Prussian Art Collections, that of the Imperial 
Austrian Museum, the Catalogues of the Cabinets of Florence and London, as also from 
numismatic periodicals. A smaller number are taken from casts, for which we have to 
thank the courtesy of keepers of the collection of coins in Berlin, Vienna, Milan, and 
Florence ; also M. Prosper Valton, of Paris. To all these gentlemen we repeat our most 
grateful thanks for the friendly permission accorded us to reproduce their casts in the 
present work. 



Italian Medals 



peculiar representation of the shoulder and in the draping of 
the paludamentum, recalls but little more distantly the later 
medallions of Commodus and Septimius Severus. Neverthe- 
less, both show throughout individuality of conception, and 
are for the date of their production masterpieces of art.^ Of 
the same period we also possess three medal-like struck 
proofs, so-called "essais" or ''testoni" of die-engravers, the 
work of a Venetian family of die-engravers, the Sesti, with 
their names and dates (1393 and 141 7). The obverses are 
direct copies of the imperial coins of Galba and of a Greek coin 
(Alexander the Great or Antiochus of Syria) ; on the reverse 
are a standing figure (Venetia ?) and a mythological scene (the 
Rape of Persephone or the Rescue of Andromeda). These 
are, to an even greater degree than the medals of the 
Carraras, direct and conscious imitations of Roman imperial 
medallions. Since they possess a general striking similarity 

^ The long-continued dispute as to whether these medals, as Julius Friedlander, the late 
Director of the Cabinet of Coins in Berlin, maintained as early as 1868, were original and 
contemporary strikings, or merely restitutions — that is, pieces made at a later time but after 
the earlier style — has lately been finally decided in favour of the above-mentioned scholar. 
In one of the already mentioned inventories of the Duke of Berry we find cited as early as 
1401 a lead cast from one of the Carrara medals, which fixes its issue during the interval 
between 1390 and 1401. 

10 



Introduction 



of style to the Carrara medallions, these latter medals have 
lately been pronounced to be probably works of the Sesto 
family, perhaps of that same Marco who in 1393 produced 
the proof bearing the bust of Galba.^ 

Thus Padua was the cradle of the modern commemorative 
medal. Its first creators, however, left no immediate suc- 
cessors, and half a century passed before Vittore Pisano, the 
gifted son of neighbouring Verona — probably knowing 
nothing whatever of his Paduan forerunners — created the 
Renaissance medal, which differed considerably from the 
earlier type, and in a series of splendid works brought it to 
that perfection, which after ages have rarely attained and 
never surpassed (see Chapter II.). For the rest these early 
works of the Paduan school, even though entirely corre- 
sponding to the idea of the modern medal, still differ 
essentially in one point from the products of the Quattrocento, 
in which this branch of art reached its zenith. The earlier 
medals were struck, while with but rare exceptions the latter 
were cast. A few words on the technique of the production 

^ All the questioHS arisingf here are treated with his accustomed thoroughness in an 
extremely suggestive essay by J. von Schlosser : Die dltesten Medaillen und die Antike, in 
vol. xviii. (1897) of the Jahrhuch der Kunsthist. Samml, des allerh. Kaiserhauses. 

II 



Italian Medals 



of the medals of the fifteenth century must suffice at this 
point. 

The imperfection of the art of striking, which was 
still in its infancy, caused the artists to prefer the process of 
casting, since casting imposed no limit either on the size of 
the medal or the height of the relief. In order to produce the 
models for casting, the artists — for the most part sculptors, 
but also, in isolated cases, painters and architects — modelled 
the portraits and the reverses in wax, a material which, thanks 
to its plasticity, gave the most favourable opportunity for the 
embodiment of the most essential aims and qualities. The 
but recently discovered model of one of the best known 
medals of the end of the fifteenth century, that of Filippo 
Strozzi, seems nevertheless to bear witness to a second 
method of production, which was perhaps employed merely 
in isolated instances, and in any case only at a later time ; the 
model is cut out in high relief on a disc of iron.^ From the 

' Against this explanation of the origin and aim of the model in question, put forward 
by a professional numismatist (A. von Sallet), a no less competent authority has advanced 
what appears to us to be a well-founded objection. It is pointed out that the iron model 
" lacks numerous delicacies and especially attractive characteristic traits, by which the 
bronze medal — supposed to be cast from it — is in so high a degree distinguished, and 
which are not merely due to subsequent tooling. The iron is therefore probably, even if it 
is old, in any case only wrought after the medal" (J. Menadier). 

12 



Introduction 



model produced in one or the other way a sunk mould was 
prepared in moulding sand, from which the medal was cast 
usually in bronze, more rarely in lead, gold, or silver. It was 
in most cases found necessary afterwards more or less to 
chase the medals thus produced, in order to remove any 
imperfection in the casting. The best masters, however, 
were able to make casts so perfectly clean that they repro- 
duced the full beauty of the original model, impressed with 
the cachet of its creator's hand, so that no subsequent chasing 
was necessary. Such untouched specimens are naturally 
preferable to chased medals, since in the latter invariably the 
charm of the uninjured warm surface, and frequently also the 
refinement of the original expression and form, have been lost 
owing to too much, or too sharp, chasing. Inscriptions round 
the margin were usually added both to obverse and reverse, or 
occasionally also filled the entire field of the reverse. These 
had as a rule been already set in the wax model, and therefore 
came out in relief in the cast ; but occasionally the artists 
incised them afterwards in the finished bronze cast. Only on 
a small number of the medals that have come down to us did 
the artists sign their names or their initials. In conclusion, 

13 



Italian Medals 



the surface was given a fine, carefully produced patina of warm 
brown, frequently shading into green, or occasionally of a 
quite dark colour, and thereby acquired the charm of the 
reflected lights which alone brought out fully the subtle 
refinements of these masterpieces in miniature. The patina, 
it is true, is frequently too thick and black, and then proves 
as injurious to the effect as a surface laid bare by rubbing 
or cleaning. 

With the adoption of the process of casting instead of 
striking medals was completed their entire emancipation from 
the Mint ; they thereby acquired an independent standing. 
Henceforward it is no longer the handicraftsman who labori- 
ously cuts the die with which they are to be struck ; it is the 
artist, who, through a process which allows him unrestricted 
liberty in the use of the material, is enabled to inspire his 
work with the full spirit of his own individuality, and thereby 
to raise it into the region of high art. 

As a rival to the cast medal, such as we have described, 
there appeared, not before the end of the fifteenth century, 
the struck medal. The perfection to which the machinery for 
striking coins had meanwhile been brought must have en- 

14 



Introduction 



couraged men to employ it also for medals, all the more 
because, owing to the capacity for resistance of the die, it was 
possible to use the model with the greatest effect. It was, 
indeed, two celebrated masters of the Mint at that period, 
Francia and Gambello, who first introduced the striking of 
commemorative medals on a large scale. In the course of our 
inquiries we shall see how the new method found ever-increas- 
ing favour in the Cinquecento, so that about 1550 the cast 
medal had been almost entirely driven from the field — in no 
way to the advantage of the artistic quality of the productions 
of this branch of art, which sank lower and lower, until finally 
in the seventeenth century it shared in the general degradation 
of the arts. 

What was the reason why, during the zenith of Italian life, 
Italian culture and art, the medal enjoyed that universal ap- 
preciation and popularity and reached that perfection to which 
the masterpieces of the art on the one hand, and on the 
other the great number of examples that have survived, bear 
witness ? 

In the change from existence as member of a class, charac- 
teristic of the Middle Ages, to the individual life of modern 

15 



Italian Medals 



times, the man of the Renaissance became once more com- 
pletely imbued with the ancient conception of personal fame. 
With all the impetuous spirit which filled every movement of 
this period, he longed for the glorification of his personality in 
literary or artistic monuments, in order that his memory might 
survive beyond the limits of his earthly existence. Among 
other means, the commemorative medal suggested itself as 
especially suitable and convenient for the purpose. Was it not 
also within the reach of the more modest wishes of those who 
were unable to satisfy their thirst for glory by the erection of 
statues and palaces, not to say the foundation of temples and 
towns? Nay, the medal — and precisely in virtue of its un- 
assuming character — promised, and in more than one instance 
actually fulfilled, the assurance of greater durability than many 
a more ostentatious monument, which but too often was 
destined to fall a sacrifice to the rivalry of parties or the vicis- 
situdes of taste. Every fairly memorable moment of a life 
might thus be immortalised in its fashion by a work perfect in 
its kind from an artist's hand, and this work, reproduced in 
many copies, could be presented to friends or relatives in a like 

position, bestowed as tokens of princely grace on favourites 

i6 



Introduction 



or trusted servants, sent to friendly Courts abroad, or buried 
under the foundations of newly erected monuments. As a 
portable monument, the medal thus accompanied all great 
events in the life of the individual and his family, and later 
also in that of the State. In this sense we may regard the 
medallic art as par excellence the art of the Renaissance. It 
was born with the Renaissance, and in the service of the aspira- 
tions of the Renaissance it developed to an undreamed-of 
degree of popularity and reached the utmost limit of perfec- 
tion ; with the exhaustion of the tendencies and ideals of the 
Renaissance, it sank not only from its perfection as a work of 
art, but also from its significance — we might say — as a symbol 
of culture. For centuries, then, it enjoyed an at once magni- 
ficent and pitiable existence exclusively in the service of the 
great ones of the earth, as memorials of the birth, the acces- 
sion, or the marriages of princes and kings, until at length in 
our own days it has been summoned to arise to a new and 
auspicious life.^ 

Owing to the peculiar qualities of the medal, on which we 

' Compare on the above A. Lichtwark, Die Wiederbelebiing der Medaille, Dresden, 
1897; Roger Marx, Les M^dailles frangaises depuis ijSt), Paris, 1897; and Les M^dailles 
contemporaines, Paris, 1898; lastly A. R. v. Loehr, Wiener Medailleure, Vienna, 1899. 



Italian Medals 



have dwelt, it is not surprising that it immediately became a 
favourite object of the collector. The earliest patrons of this 
newly created branch of art were at the same time the first 
collectors of its products. In the Cabinet of Art and Curiosi- 
ties of the Duke of Berry we have already seen the only speci- 
mens of medals existing in his time. The Este of Ferrara not 
only arranged for the production of a complete series of medals 
of their family, but provided also that other reigning houses 
should send them their medals, and caused their favourites 
and faithful servants to be immortalised on medals. Their 
example was followed by other princely families — the Gon- 
zagas in little Mantua, which, thanks to the patronage of its 
rulers, produced comparatively the greatest number of medal- 
lists ; the splendour-loving Sforzas of Milan, as also the lords 
of Rimini and Urbino ; Alfonso of Naples, who not only pre- 
served a valuable cabinet of medallions of celebrated Romans, 
and in surveying them felt spurred on to emulate their example, 
but was also one of the first to establish at his Court a home 
where the new art flourished extensively, and took pleasure in 
surrounding himself with its creations; finally. Pope Paul II., 

whose far-famed cabinet of gems and medals undoubtedly 

i8 



Introduction 



included the works of his own time as well as the marvels of 
ancient art. In witness of the fact we may see the medals 
of the Pope himself, which within our own days have been 
excavated from the foundations of the Palazzo di Venezia built 
by him. Nay, we have an interesting proof that the medallists 
themselves set a high value on the works of art which they 
had created, in the will drawn up in 1512 by Giancristoforo 
Romano (with whom we shall presently become acquainted). 
Among the artistic objects in his collection he cites thirty-four 
bronze and eighty-seven silver medals, the former of which at 
least were assuredly works of the Renaissance. The Medici of 
Florence outshone all the other amateurs of whom we have 
spoken ; and the inventories of their treasures, in particular, 
give us a nearer glance into their property in medals. While 
the catalogue of the year 1456 enumerates, besides fifty-three 
gold and three hundred silver medals, which, to judge from the 
material, probably belonged exclusively to the antique, only 
thirty-seven bronze (consequently modern) pieces, the inven- 
tory of the collection made at the death of Lorenzo the Magni- 
ficent in 1492 mentions, in addition to the gold medal of Cosimo 
the Elder, no less than 1,844 bronze medals. To such propor- 

19 



Italian Medals 



tions had the collection of modern commemorative medals 
possessed by the family risen in little more than a generation. 
The Grand-Dukes of the Medicean family subsequently made 
it their business to add to this collection, and Florence is 
consequently now fortunate in possessing in the Medagliere 
Mediceo, so admirably exhibited in the National Museum, 
what is probably the only collection of this kind, in great part 
reaching back to the pieces acquired in the Quattrocento and 
Cinquecento.^ 

In the following centuries the interest of the collectors, 
chiefly of princely rank, following the taste of the times, 
abandoned the severe austerity of the Renaissance medal ; 
and where such medals remained from earlier collections, they 
were banished to hidden corners of their cabinets. Not until 
the beginning of the last century do we meet again with 
isolated^ connoisseurs of refined taste able to appreciate their 
value. Among the earliest of these was Goethe ; the pieces 
which he collected, among them unique specimens of inestim- 
able value — now accessible to the public in the Goethe 

1 [According to a writer in the Athenceum, October 3rd, 1903, p. 458, a considerable 
number of forgeries have been substituted for originals among the earlier pieces in this 
collection. — G. F. H.] 

20 



Introduction 



Museum at Weimar — prove the unerring accuracy of his 
artistic judgment. An essay from his pen (published in the 
Jena Litteraturzeitung of 1810) testifies to the warm interest 
aroused in him by these insignificant-looking products of the 
artist's hand, long before objects of the kind found favour with 
wider circles. The taste for such works, however, has been 
steadily on the increase for somewhat more than a generation, 
so that now some of the most complete and excellent collec- 
tions are in possession of private connoisseurs (G. Dreyfus and 
Prosper Valton in Paris, and F. W. Green at Winchester).^ 
As regards public museums in Italy, the most valuable treasures 
of this kind are to be found in the museum in Florence, already 
mentioned, in those of Milan, Turin, Venice, Bologna, and 
Modena ; while on this side of the Alps the numismatic 
cabinet in Berlin stands foremost, while the cabinets of Paris, 
Vienna, London, vie with it partly in the numbers, partly in the 
rarity of their pieces. Munich also owns a collection dis- 
tinguished not so much for the number as for the excellent 
quality of its specimens. 

1 [In addition, the collections of Messrs. George Salting and Max Rosenheim in 
London should be mentioned. — G. F. H.] 

21 



Italian Medals 



It is in keeping- with the so recently awakened apprecia- 
tion of the value of the medal as a work of art, that not until 
our own days has it become the subject of methodical 
scientific investigation. For the voluminous compilations 
of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with almost the 
sole exception of the thorough Mohsen (1773), provide 
little else than an uncritical tissue of cursory statements, 
false assertions concerning numismatic, genealogical, bio- 
graphical, and historical matters. The task of scientific- 
ally sifting the material for the history of the art met with 
absolutely insuperable hindrances, due in part to the com- 
parative rarity of the works which should serve as its object, 
but still more owing to the scantiness of the information 
handed down concerning their origin and their creators — 
information which had to be sought for the most part in 
incidental statements and scattered notices from secondary 
sources. In this respect, next to Mohsen's book just men- 
tioned, Ch. Lenormant's Tresor de Numis^natique (1834), in 
spite of its defects and peculiarities, has more especially by 
its illustrations provided a valuable groundwork for deeper 

research, and Bolzenthal's Skizzen zur Geschichte der Medail- 

22 



Introduction 



leurkunst (1840) have given an adequate summary of the 
whole material. But for our own days was reserved the task 
of compiling, in three publications, each of which may be 
regarded as a model of its kind, the material which had 
hitherto been contained in literary sources and works of art 
bearing on the subject, and of giving a scientific account of 
the historic development of our branch of art, so far, that is, 
as the present state of our knowledge permits. A. Armand 
enumerated in a critical catalogue (2nd ed., 1883) 3,500 
Italian medals up to the beginning of the seventeenth century 
known to himself. (Their number has since been increased 
by more than a hundred additional pieces.) In his "Italienische 
Schaumiinzen des 15 Jahrhunderts" {Jahrbuch der kdniglichen 
preussischen Ktmstsammlungen, vols, i.-iii.) J. Friedlander 
described all medals, up to the year 1530, hitherto made known. 
His discussion of the artists, persons depicted, designs on the 
reverses, explanations of their inscriptions, and appreciation 
of their art and style, reveal the efficiency bestowed by an 
inborn discrimination and a lifelong acquaintance with the 
subject. Finally, in the nine folio parts of his Medailleurs de 
la Renaissance (i 881-1892) Alois Heiss published a number 

23 



Italian Medals 



of monographs of individual masters and schools, which, more 
especially in the matter of illustration, filled the gaps left by 
his predecessor, since they depicted all the works of the artist 
treated of in each case. The death of the compiler unfortun- 
ately prevented the completion of the extensive Corpus 
Numismatum which he had planned, and which thus supplies 
no information on the artists and works of Verona, Mantua, 
Milan, Padua, Bologna, and Rome, to say nothing of anony- 
mous artists.^ 

All further writings on the medals of the Italian Renaissance 
must be based on these three fundamental works ; and we also 
shall follow them in our survey of the subject in the following 
pages. 

^ The reader will find further information concerning the literature on this subject, more 
especially concerning the three last quoted works, in two articles by the author in the 
Zeitschrift fiir bildende Kunst, 1884, pp. 360 flf., and in the supplement to the Allgenieine 
Zeitung of September 23rd, 1884. 



24 



II 



VITTORE PISANO AND HIS SUCCESSORS 
IN NORTH ITALY 




LIONKLLO D'KSTK. BY PISANO 



hn,: p. 2b 



II 



VITTORE PISANO AND HIS SUCCESSORS 
IN NORTH ITALY 

HEN we remember how the idea of posthumous 

fame determined the revival of the medal, we shall 

not be surprised that, of the two places which gave 

birth to the Renaissance, it was not in republican Florence, 

but amid the Courts of the splendour-loving and ambitious 

princes so numerous in North Italy, that the commemorative 

medal first appeared as a fresh means for their glorification. 

To Verona, the art-loving city, which throughout the entire 

fourteenth century had possessed a school of painters vying in 

importance with the Florentine Giottesques, belongs the glory 

of having given birth to Vittore Pisano, surnamed Pisanello 

(circa 1 380-1451), the creator of the Renaissance medal. We 

are not acquainted with the immediate circumstances of his 

life ; we only know that, one of the earliest followers of the 

27 




Italian Medals 



modern realism, he was widely known as the creator of works 
of monumental painting and as the most renowned portrait 
painter of his time beyond the confines of his home as far as 
Pavia, Mantua, Venice, Ferrara, and Rome, before, within the 
last decade of his life, he was to add still further to his title to 
immortality by his new creation in plastic art. 

The opinion, which has recently been expressed, that the 
master may have been inspired thereto by the Flemish- 
Burgundian imperial medallions already mentioned, is prob- 
ably justified. In the precious volume of drawings, most of 
them due to Pisanello, preserved as the Codex Vallardi in the 
Louvre, are three sketches from his hand for the reverses of 
medals, which he afterwards adopted in somewhat altered 
form for one of his medallions of Alfonso of Naples. Here, 
in the representation of a triumphal car drawn by four horses, 
the artist has evidently allowed himself to be influenced by the 
reverse of the Heraclius medal. He doubtless fully believed 
that he had before him ancient works worthy of imitation, 
and, inspired by the newly awakened reverence for antiquity, 
was striving to revive an ancient custom in glorifying in like 

manner the rulers of his time. The earliest of his medals, 

28 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 

moreover, presents the most remarkable similarities — naturally, 
apart from style — to the medal of Constantine in size, in 
method of casting", in the manner of depicting the horseman, 
in the careful representation of the horse itself, even down to 
its peculiar amble, and finally in the combination of Greek 
and Latin inscriptions. This is the medal of John VIII., the 
last emperor but one of the Palaeologus race, who came to 
Ferrara in 1438 to implore aid against the Turks from the 
Council assembled there for the settlement of the schism 
(Frontispiece). 

With it we may class the imposing series of his works — 

twenty-four signed pieces with twelve others that may assuredly 

be ascribed to him. It is indeed a proud procession of crowned 

heads, celebrated princes and tyrants, dreaded condottieri, 

renowned statesmen and scholars, that the genius of the 

master| places before our astonished and delighted gaze. In 

the ardent desire for posthumous fame all have sought to be 

immortalised by means of Pisano's spatula and crucible. We 

can understand the praise heaped upon these creations by his 

contemporaries in verse and prose. It was the sense of the 

truly significant, the sublime, consistently displayed in these 

29 



Italian Medals 

works, to the exclusion of all trivial ornament or refinement, 
that won them the approval of the best critics. The gifted 
artist never fails to seize the character of the individual with 
unerring directness — faithful and true to life, but ennobled by 
a stylistic treatment which accentuates only the essential. 
Masterly is the way in which he catches the bold poise of the 
head, reproduces the clear strong outline of the profile, gives 
concentrated expression to passionate ferocity and untamed 
energy, as well as to high intellectual endowment or pro- 
foundly contemplative character. Nay, in the single woman's 
portrait that we possess by his hand, that of the twenty-three- 
year-old Cecilia Gonzaga (1447), later renowned for her learn- 
ing and piety, he fascinates us by the refined charm of ex- 
pression, a refinement we had scarcely expected in the pitiless 
observer of the coarser realism of life (PI. IV.). And all this 
breathing life is evoked by his genius with the most simple 
means. His conception of a subject combines the most 
austere severity with the most attractive freshness ; his 
modelling, invariably simple, scorns all superfluous detail ; his 
technique is based on the most intimate knowledge of the 
material, losing no advantage that it offers, without ever 

30 



Plate III 




MALATESTA NOVELLO BY PISANO 

F.irc J,. 30 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



seeking to force from it anything unsuited to its nature. Only 
to speak of examples which we reproduce, how faithfully does 
the profile portrait (and Pisanello made without exception 
only profiles) of Palaeologus (1438) depict stiff self-satisfaction ; 
that of Sigismondo Malatesta (1445) the cold haughtiness and 
savage determination of this prototype of the tyrant of 
Renaissance times (PI. II.) ; how does that of his brother 
Novello, along with the unmistakable family likeness, reveal 
the gentler character with its susceptibility to noble influences 
(PI. III.) ; that of Alfonso I. of Naples (1449) candid magnani- 
mity (PI. V.) ; that of Vittorino of Feltre, the much sought- 
after humanist teacher, the spiritual features of the scholar 
(PI. VII., i) ; finally that of Inigo Davalos (PI. VI.) the self- 
contained character of the noble Grand Seneschal of King 
Alfonso. 

Almost greater is Pisanello in the designs for his reverses. 
Without the inspiration of any previous model, his marvellous 
intuition at once hits on the most appropriate conceptions. 
What fresh, healthy life is he able to impart to his allegories, 
thanks not least to. the magnificent animal figures, which he 
loved to employ, combining a monumental treatment with 

31 



Italian Medals 



an intimate penetration of their nature ! What mastery, 
what restraint he displays in composition and technique, 
while he avoids pictorial effect no less than the one-sided 
accentuation of the sculpturesque element and the exaggerated 
labouring of the relief! How frequently does he thrill the 
innermost feelings of the beholder by the intimacy of the 
expression, reaching by apparently the simplest means to 
undreamt-of depths of soul ! Or can we conceive a more 
thoughtful symbolisation of the power of love than that on 
the medal struck in 1444 to celebrate the marriage of 
Lionello of Este with the daughter of King Alfonso of 
Naples, where Cupid, holding a sheet of music before the 
lion — a play upon the name of the giver of the commission 
— compels the mighty beast to song?^ (PI. I.). Is there 
any prouder illustration of the motto '* Liberalitas Augusta" 
on Alfonso's medal than the eagle in its eyrie, distributing 
its prey to the vultures that surround it ? (The well-known 
device of Roman imperial coins, as well as the eagle, which 

^ The Berlin example, reproduced in our illustration, is a lead cast of great beauty, 
so finely and surely chased, that Friedlander holds it to be one of the pieces which, 
according to the account of a contemporary, Pisano himself chased in order to use 
it as a model for the bronze casting. 

32 



Plate lY 




CKCILIA GONZAGA. BY PISANO 



Far p. 32 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



appears on the coins of Agrigentum, testifies to inspiration 
by ancient examples, examples which the artist no doubt 
found in the royal collection, and to which the sketches 
in the Vallardi Codex also point.) Is not the entire 
fascination of Romanticism forestalled in the charming girlish 
figure of the Gonzaga medal — the maiden who, entrusting 
her innocence to the protection of the unicorn, sits sunk in 
dreams in a moonlit, rocky waste ? Finally, does it not 
border on the marvellous how the figure of Novello Malatesta, 
in spite of being clad from head to foot in armour, thrills 
with inward excitement, as with an expression of deepest 
emotion he kneels before the Saviour, who bends to him 
from the cross ? Truly, in presence of such creations, 
it must strike us with surprise that Goethe (in the essay 
quoted above in the Jena Litteraturzeitung) can only, on 
the one hand, praise "his naive simplicity and the sincere 
imitative industry," and on the other censure "his somewhat 
timid and stiff treatment " ! In Pisanello, indeed, we seek 
in vain for the conventional flow of line and the academical 
smoothness of the Caracci and Domenichino, which so 
charmed Goethe in Italy. 

^ 33 



Italian Medals 



Among the medals of Pisanello not attested by his 
signature, the three portraits of Leone Battista Alberti, 
''the universal genius of the Renaissance" par excellence^ 
which A. Venturi has quite recently ascribed to our artist, 
claim our especial attention in virtue not only of the person 
depicted, but also on account of their value as works of 
art.^ In our opinion only the single specimen in the Louvre 
(PI. VI L, 4) deserves to be considered, so far as the attribution 
in question is concerned ; of the two others in the Bibliotheque 
Nationale at Paris and in the Dreyfus collection, we hold 
the first to be a contemporary imitation of the Louvre medal, 
the second a restoration of the sixteenth century.^ Alberti 
dwelt at Ferrara during the time that Pisano was engaged 
on the medal of Lionello of Este, and, in fact, his portrait, 
both in style and arrangement, shows many points of 
similarity with the medal of Lionello. On the other hand, 
it deviates from all authentic medals of Pisanello in its 

' Concerning' Alberti, compare Jacob Burckhardt's Kulttcr der Renaissance, 3rd edition, 
Leipzig-, 1877, vol. i. p. 168, and Anton Springer's Bilder aus der rieuern Kunstgeschichte, 
2nd edition, Bonn, 1886, vol. i. pp. 259 fF. 

In order to support this view we ought to reproduce the two other pieces. This, 
however, is not the right place for such a discussion, which we reserve for another 
occasion. 

34 




ALFONSO I. OF NAPLFS. liY PISANO 



Face p. 34 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



elliptic form, its unusual dimensions (15^ by 11^ cm.), and 
also in the absence of a reverse. But the conception is 
so grand, the excellence of the work so extraordinary, that 
the new attribution seems to have better claims than that 
hitherto received (the work had been regarded by some as 
a portrait of Alberti by himself, by others as the work of 
Matteo Pasti). 

With Pisanello's work begins the continuous series of 
Quattrocento medals. In his wanderings throughout the 
whole of Italy he carried his new art from Verona to Naples, 
and owing to it, much more than to his paintings, everywhere 
won disciples to the realism of North Italy, so different from 
the realism of Florence. He found the earliest and most 
numerous followers in Ferrara. The lords of Ferrara — if the 
first to embody the idea of the modern ruler, who recognises 
not rights alone, but also duties — were at the same time 
genuine sons of the Renaissance ; so that (frequently out of 
all proportion to the limited resources of their public revenues 
and at the cost of severe taxation) they indulged their love of 
splendour and art, and sought to hand down their fame to 
posterity by artistic works. And that the seeds planted with 

35 



Italian Medals 



such intention in native soil — in the first instance by foreign 
hands — flourished also at home is shown by the works of 
Ferrarese medallists as well as of the Ferrarese school of 
painting. The names and creations of a Pleiad of such men, 
all more or less followers of Pisano, and all of whom found 
ample occupation and reward at the Court of the Este, have 
been handed down to us. After 1441 Niccolo Baroncelli, 
a sculptor of Florentine origin, several of whose ably executed 
statues in bronze are preserved in the cathedral of Ferrara, 
cast a medal of Lionello, full of character and inspired by 
Pisanello; indeed, the design of the reverse is directly borrowed 
from one of the master's. Amadeo da Milano, who was 
especially esteemed as a goldsmith, betrays himself as such by 
a strong relief, by the elegant, almost timid, treatment and 
careful chasing in the medals which he made of Lionello and 
Borso d'Este in the forties. On the reverse of one of the 
Lionello medals, like Baroncelli, he copies Pisanello ; while 
the reverse of his second medal, with Leda and the swan, is a 
naively conceived, but skilfully composed circular design.^ 

^ [This reverse is by most authorities considered to be of later date than the obverse. 
Cp. Heiss, p. 15.— G. F. H.] 

36 



Plate VI 




Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



The most important of the native masters, however, is 
Antonio Marescotti, of whose life, as well as of the lives of the 
two of whom we have spoken, we know nothing. The seven 
medals which he has left us bear the dates 1446-1462, and 
display the portraits of two members of his family, of a Bishop 
of Ferrara, Duke Sforza of Milan, and Borso d'Este. Finer 
than these, however, are two medals of San Bernardino of 
Siena, the zealous reformer of the Franciscan Order, the 
eloquent and influential wandering preacher, who had sojourned 
in Ferrara in 1431. Marescotti's medals of the saint, how- 
ever, cannot have been cast until after his beatification in 
1450, since they show his head surrounded by a halo ; all the 
more remarkable is the truthfulness of the portrait, which was 
not taken from the life, and in which the ascetic piety of the 
saint is so touchingly expressed (PI. VII., 5). All the works of 
Marescotti show something of the severe realism, the strong 
modelling of Pisanello. Although in this among all Pisanello's 
successors he approaches nearest to the master, nevertheless 
he is far from attaining the grand style, the monumental con- 
ception, which go hand in hand with these qualities in the 
Veronese. The insignificant reverses cannot in the least 

37 



Italian Medals 



compare with Pisanello's either in choice of subject, in con- 
centration of composition, or, finally, in the mighty cast of 
the figures. They display for the most part nothing but 
emblems : thus the medal of San Bernardino bears only the 
so-called Chrism of his order — the monogram of the Saviour 
(*' Y.H.S.") enclosed in a nimbus of flames. 

Weaker and more indistinct in form and conception are 
the likenesses of Duke Borso on the medals of Giacomo 
Lixignolo and Petricini, of Florence, dated 1460 (PI. VII., 6) ; 
likewise that of Borso's successor, Ercole I., on the medals 
made twelve years later by Baldassare Estense, a natural scion 
of the princely house, who seems to have practised art simply 
as an amateur ; finally, on the medal of M. Coradini, of 
whose work this single specimen (Pl.VIII., i) and nothing more 
is known. Its reverse, partly inspired by a coin of Hadrian, 
shows the figure of the mythological patron of the Duke, 
as with shield and spear boldly planted he subdues the waves 
of the sea beside the pillars that bear his name. To pass over 
a number of anonymous artists, with whom for the most part 
we are only acquainted in their medals (frequently of excellent 
workmanship), depicting for the most part members of the 

38 



Plate VII 




/•>«■(- 38 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



reigning house, the series of those already named is followed, 
chronologically speaking, by a highly renowned master of our 
branch of art, Sperandio of Mantua. But as Ferrara was for 
scarcely a decade the scene of his labours (1467-1476), and as, 
on the other hand, he made a much longer sojourn at Bologna, 
we prefer to treat of him later in company with the Bolognese 
medallists. 

On the other hand, we may here appropriately place two 
artists from distant Naples, whose inspiration is directly due 
to the influence of Pisanello. As architects and sculptors 
Pietro da Milano [circa 1410-1473) and Francesco Laurana 
{circa 1 430-1 501), whose family came from the place of the 
same name near Zara, in Dalmatia, were in the service of 
Alfonso of Naples and his son Ferdinand I. Pietro was the 
creator of the triumphal arch which was erected after 1455 by 
King Alfonso at Castel Nuovo to commemorate his seizure 
of the capital, but which was not finished until the reign of 
his successor. It is the finest architectural monument of the 
Renaissance which remains in Naples. Laurana with several 
other artists took part in its sculptured decoration. But as 

39 



Italian Medals 



medallists both men were employed especially in the service 
of Alfonso's rival and pretender to the kingdom of the two 
Sicilies, Rene of Anjou, Count of Provence. This prince, 
one of the few who, north of the Alps, vied with the Italian 
rulers as a splendid Maecenas of arts and letters, collected 
around him at his Courts of Aix and Bar-le-duc a legion of 
poets, scholars, and artists. With them he himself contended 
in poetry and painting, so that in the joint productions of the 
courtly band it is frequently difficult to distinguish the work 
of the patron from that of his proteges. When after Alfonso's 
death (1458) the building of his triumphal arch was brought 
to a stand, our two artists obeyed Rene's summons and went 
to France, there by their medals to provide for the glorifica- 
tion of the love affairs of the elderly monarch at the Court of 
Love of Provence. 

Their works, produced between the years 1461 and 1466, dis- 
play the portraits of Rene and his second wife Jeanne de Laval, 
his nearest relations and most trusted counsellors, as also 
those of Louis XL, King of France. In the matter of artistic 
merit, a huge gulf divides their works from those of Pisanello, 

although his medals of King Alfonso undoubtedly served as 

40 



Plate VIII 




Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



their immediate model. And if either one or other achieves 
success, then is the credit due more to the source whence they 
derived their inspiration than to themselves. In Pietro da 
Milano more especially the dependence on Pisano may 
frequently be traced even in the designs on the reverses of 
his medals In the case of the double medal of Rene and his 
wife (PI. VIII., 2) we are interested less by the vulgar portraits 
on the obverse, treated with uniform, flat, and expressionless 
relief, than by the not unskilful composition of the Council 
scene on the reverse, with its rich Renaissance architecture, 
the first of its kind on a medal, which betrays the practised 
hand of the architect. Laurana took less trouble about his 
designs ; on his medal of John of Anjou, the son of Rene, he 
simply copies the circular temple of Vesta at Tivoli, and, as 
an addition of his own, crowns it with a statue of the Arch- 
angel Michael. In other cases also he readily allows himself 
to draw his inspiration from the antique : the Spes Augusti of 
his medal of Rene and the Concordia Augusta of that of 
Louis XI. (PI. VIII., 3) are almost literal copies of Roman 
imperial coins. The last-named medal is, however, Laurana's 
masterpiece. The cunning craftiness, the suspicion, but at 

41 



Italian Medals 



the same time the resolution of this, the first modern despot 
and incarnate reaction against the ideals and weaknesses of 
the Middle Ages, are excellently expressed in the portrait. 
Nevertheless Laurana fails by a long way to reach Pisano's 
grandeur of style, strength of modelling, and mastery of 
technique ; in their place he displays now an over-careful, 
now a superficial imitation of nature, in general a stiff 
arrangement of the reverse, a flat and characterless treatment 
of the relief. 

Let us return, however, to the home of Pisanello, to 
Verona, to trace his successors. There we immediately en- 
counter in Matteo de' Fasti an artist who is probably a pupil 
of the master himself. Born at Verona in the first quarter 
of the fifteenth century, he meets us with his teacher at 
Ferrara in 1444, where he fashioned the portrait — so char- 
acteristic in its ugliness — of the tutor of princes, the renowned 
Greek scholar Guarino, then in his seventy-fifth year, and like 
himself a native of Verona (Fl. XI., i). As early as the follow- 
ing year he accompanied Fisano to the Court of Sigismondo 

Malatesta at Rimini, where as architect, sculptor, decorator, 

42 



Plate IX 




SIGISMONDO MALATESTA. BY I'ASTI 

/•ViCI' j). .(2 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



painter, draftsman, and medallist, he soon rose to the position 
of an artistic factotum. Not until 1483, long after the death 
of his princely patron, did he return to his native city, where 
he died in 1490. Whether he responded to the summons of 
the Sultan Mohammed II. at Constantinople ad se pingendum 
effingendumque, cannot be ascertained.^ From 1447 onwards 
he superintended at Rimini the building, designed by Leone 
Battista Alberti, of S. Francesco, the well-known Temple of 
Fame of Malatesta, and at the same time made the medal of 
Alberti, the dry style of which, however, contrasts very un- 
favourably with the life displayed in the medal of Guarino. 
Some other early Veronese works, the medals of Maflfei and 
Benedetto Pasti, in their vigorous realism also approach 
much more nearly to Pisano than do Fasti's later works. 
On the whole, we cannot agree in the opinion of Friedlander 
and Heiss, who among all the masters of the Quattrocento 
rank him second only to Pisano. Goethe forms a more just 
estimate, when he finds him distinguished by tenderness, 
repose, simplicity, naivete as well as great carefulness, almost 

^ [It appears from a letter, of which an extract is published in L'Arte, iii. p. 145, 
that Matteo only went as far as Candia, whence he was obliged to return. — G. F. H.] 

43 



Italian Medals 



amounting to timidity, in the presentation of his details. His 
portraits in general have not the vivid life and the grand ideal 
cast of those of his master : rather do they show for the most 
part a certain limitation in conception and a dryness of 
modelling. But it is especially in the reverses that he proves 
himself far inferior to Pisanello in inventive genius and over- 
flowing wealth of composition, as also in technical finish in 
the treatment of the relief ; indeed, in these respects he 
becomes sometimes flat and insignificant. When he attempts 
an entirely ideal subject he degenerates into feebleness and 
prettiness, as we see by his medal of Christ. Nevertheless in 
moments of inspiration he produced one or two such master- 
pieces as the finely finished head of Sigismondo as ^'Polior- 
cetes semper invictus, " a valuable and unique specimen in the 
Berlin Cabinet, and the best of all the medals which Pasti 
made of the tyrant of Rimini^ (PI. XI., 2). For, as was 
proper, our artist was obliged to place his highest talent at 

' And yet how much of the essential character of the despot has been sacrificed in 
Fasti's conception, when compared to the medal of Pisano reproduced above ! Notice the 
outline of the skull altered to adjust it to the circular form of the medal, the elegant crimp- 
ing of the hair, the foppish laurel-wreath, which almost transform the fierce tyrant into a 
petit-niaitre of the Quattrocento! [A better-known medal by Pasti of Sigismondo, with 
the Rocca Malatestiana on the reverse, is illustrated in Plate IX. — G. F. H.] 

44 



Plate X 




ISOTTA DEGLI ATTI. BY FASTI 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



the service of his lord and his house ; and thus, as products 
of his Renaissance period, we possess besides the medal of 
Alberti, only medals of Malatesta (and there are a dozen) and 
of the lady who was first his mistress and afterwards his wife, 
Isotta degli Atti (of whom there are eight different portraits). 
Divinised by Sigismondo in a monument erected to her during 
her lifetime with the inscription, Divae Isottae Sacrum," 
celebrated by him and by the swarm of dependent poets in 
the elegies of the " Isottaei " on account of her intellectual 
excellences no less than of her personal charms, Isotta never- 
theless on Fasti's medal (PI. X.) appears to us in by no means 
so extraordinary a light. In her features we can trace kindli- 
ness and enjoyment of life, and can perceive the expression 
of an intelligent mind ; but we search in vain for greatness 
or the stamp of princely nobility, and are still more unwilling 
to allow her the charm of intoxicating beauty. The elephant, 
however, which appears so frequently on the reverse of her 
medals, symbolises her ruler and husband ; he had chosen it 
with the motto, " Elephas Indus Culices Non Timet," for 
his device, or "impresa, " as it was called in the Quattro- 
cento. Here also the Weimar dilettanti have allowed them- 

45 



Italian Medals 



selves to be carried away in their enthusiasm, when they call 
the medal of Isotta, "as we may say, unique in feeling, 
sincerity, and attractive antique simplicity of representation." 

Besides Matteo de' Pasti, strange to say, the art of Pisano 
produced no followers in his native city. Pasti's successors 
there belong in date, as well as in the style of their works, to 
the beginning of the Cinquecento, and we shall therefore be 
obliged to return to them later. 

On the other hand, the great Veronese found in neighbour- 
ing Mantua immediate successors, although, indeed, in the 
sequel their style was determined also by other influences. He 
himself had, as documents prove, repeatedly dwelt in Mantua, 
for the last time in 1447. The earliest medallist whom we 
encounter there after him, signing himself on his works as 
*'Petrus domo Fani," belonged to the little town of this name 
situated between Ancona and Pesaro. His medal of the Marquis 
Lodovico Gonzaga (PI. XI., 3), the intelligent Maecenas, who 
succeeded in attracting to his little Court geniuses of the stamp 
of a Donatello, an Alberti, a Mantegna, shows strong traces 

of the spirit of Pisanello, not only in the lifelike and grandly 

46 



Plate XI 




3 

FASTI, PIETKO DA FANO 



Face p. 46 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



conceived portrait, but still more in the vigorous, simple com- 
position of the reverse, although its meaning is not so clear 
as that of Pisano's allegories. Are we intended to find in 
the legend "Noli me tangere " an allusion to Lodovico's 
confidence against any attack of the God of Love and at the 
same time a promise of fidelity to his wife, Barbara of 
Brandenburg? The Cupid on the reverse, and the title of 
lieutenant of the Duke of Milan in the legend on the obverse, 
fix the date of the medal between 1452 and 1457.^ This 
agrees with the date of the other known medals of our artist, 
those of the Doge Pasquale Malipieri (1457-62) and his wife, 
which show the same characteristic excellence and power of 
expression as those of the Gonzaga. These unique specimens 
of the Turin and Berlin collections show at the same time 
that Pietro afterwards transferred his residence to Venice, 
where, however, every trace of him is lost. 

The earliest of Mantua's native medallists is Bartolomeo 

* Two medals by Boldii (whom we shall deal with under Venice), dated 1458 and 1466, 
reproduce with some slight deviations the Cupid of the Gonzaga medals. But as during 
these years Lodovico was no longer lieutenant of Sforza, his medal must have been the 
earlier in date, and not imitated from those of Boldili. Moreover, in this case the portrait, 
which represents the Marquis as from thirty-five to forty years of age, would not accord 
with the date of his birth (14(4). 

47 



Italian Medals 



Melioli (1448- 1514). His chief energies were displayed as 

goldsmith, later also as Warden of the Marquis's mint. 

His five medals — not counting that of Christian, King of 

Denmark, who passed through Mantua on his way to Rome 

in 1474 — all depict members of the reigning family : the 

Marquis Lodovico, his son of the same name. Bishop of 

Mantua (both cast in 1475), as also his grandchildren 

Maddalena and Gianfrancesco H. (PL XH., i), cast before 

1484 and before he entered on his rule. The portraits on 

these pieces in external respects already differ from those of 

Pisano and his followers, in that they are no longer cut off 

in a more or less straight line at the bottom, but that in 

imitation of antique portrait busts they show a deep bust, 

clad in armour with a slanting truncation. This ought not 

to surprise us when we remember the reverence, bordering 

on worship, with which in the home of Virgil men honoured 

the antique, and how eagerly its remains were collected. We 

may also give credit to the goldsmith's art of Melioli for 

the excessively detailed ornamental work covering the armour, 

although it too much exalts the subordinate at the expense 

of the essential. But unfortunately his capacity for such 

48 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



externalities is not counterbalanced by vigorous characterisa- 
tion of the personality or significant working out of allegories. 
Far superior to him — not perhaps in the latter respect, but 
in the stronger, though perhaps more prosaic, characterisation 
and modelling — is his contemporary, Bartolomeo Talpa, who 
was frequently employed as decorator in the palaces and 
villas of the Gonzagas. To him we owe the signed medals 
of the Marquis Federigo I. (1478-1484) (PI. XII., 2) and of 
his son Gianfrancesco II. (after 1495); and besides these 
perhaps the finer unsigned medal of Julia Astalla (PI. XII., 4), 
the girl who, as a novella of Bandello tells us, having been 
outraged by a servant of the Bishop of Mantua, threw 
herself into the waters of the Oglio, and was honoured by 
the Bishop with a monument in the public market-place.' 
Gianfrancesco Ruberto, whose art is entirely dependent on 
that of Melioli, as also a number of medals of the reigning 
house, most of them by unknown masters, must be but 
cursorily mentioned, in order that we may bestow the greater 
attention on the works of the most important native master. 

^ [Dr. Bode, Zeitschr. f. bild. Kunst, Nov., 1903, p. 37, points out that the connection of 
the medal with this story is conjectural. — G. F. H.] 

E 49 



Italian Medals 



This is Jacopo Ilario (or Alari) Bonacolsi, surnamed 
I'Antico {circa 1460- 1528), who was also variously employed 
by his prince as goldsmith, sculptor, and metal-founder. 
With the latter name he signed (soon after 1480) his medals 
of Gianfrancesco Gonzaga, lord of Sabionetta, and his wife, 
Antonia del Balzo (PI. XII., 5). Similar to these in style, 
arrangement of externals, the border of pearls (grenetis) 
round the edge, and even in the form of the letters of the 
inscription, are the medal of an otherwise unknown Magdalena 
Mantuana (PI. XII., 3), dated Die XX. Novembris, 1504; 
another of the Duke Francesco della Rovere of Urbino 
(after 1516) ; finally, that of the Marchese Ferrante d'Avalos 
and his wife, Vittoria Colonna, the celebrated poetess and the 
friend of Michael Angelo (made apparently between 1521 and 
1525); so similar, -that we must claim them — as we do here for 
the first time — for the master. 

In all Antico's work we are attracted no less by the austere 
grace of the likenesses, where none of the warm vitality is 
sacrificed in spite of a slight tinge of mannerism, than by 
the composition of the reverses, which is inspired by the 
antique. Thus, on the Balzo medal, the all but wrecked ship 

50 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



of her life is drawn through the waves by Love and Poetry 
(Cupid and two Pegasi), guided by Hope ; and on that of 
her husband we see Fortune led by Mars and Minerva, which 
is meant to tell us that Gianfrancesco's fortunate career was 
not due to blind chance, but was owing to his own sagacity 
and courage. In these compositions the master has studied 
a delicate elaboration of the figures, while with true artistic 
feeling he avoids impressing on the flatter relief of his 
portraits, by over-minute treatment of details, the stamp of 
mechanical aridity. 

Strongly influenced by Antico, but surpassing him in 
almost every respect, appears an artist whom, in spite of 
his foreign origin, we must rank here, since the most 
important part of his career belongs to Milan and Mantua. 
Giancristoforo Romano {circa 1465-15 12) represents in the 
third generation a family of artists which, in his grandfather, 
Pippo Gante at Pisa, and in his father Isaia of Pisa, in 
Rome, had furnished distinguished masters of sculpture. 
From 1491-1497 we find Giancristoforo occupied with im- 
portant works of plastic art at the Court of Milan, from that 
time until the end of 1505 in Mantua, where in 1498 he 

51 



Italian Medals 



made the medal of the Marchioness Isabella, his particular 
patroness^ (PI. XII., 6). Recalled by Pope Julius II. to his 
native city, he designed there the Pope's medal (PI. XII., 7) 
in 1506 ; also, in the following year at Naples, that of Isabella 
of Aragon, widow of Giangaleazzo Maria Sforza, who had 
been dethroned by Lodovico il Moro. After a passing sojourn 
at the Court of Urbino, where — accomplished courtier that he 
was — he won all hearts, especially by his musical and poetic 
endowments, he was entrusted in 1509 with the position of 
architect of the Cathedral at Loreto, where he died in the 
course of three years in the prime of life, a victim of the 
terrible disease which had been brought to Italy by the army 
of Charles VIII. 

A document only recently discovered has shown the master 
to be the author of the three medals already mentioned. All 

' Thanks to the sympathetic personality of the Marchioness, honoured throughout Italy, 
as well as to the excellence of the medal as an artistic achievement, it became so popular 
and was so much sought after that in 1505 Giancristoforo was obliged to issue a replica — 
the only instance known to us of an artist personally supervising a second edition of a 
medal. It deviates in a few features — the aquiline nose, the slightly projecting lower lip, 
the different necklace, the sharply defined edge of the bodice — from the original treatment, 
as is clearly evident from the example (in a gold frame set with jewels) in the Cabinet of 
Vienna. The reverse remained entirely unaltered in the replica. 

52 



Plate XII 




5 " 7 

MELIOLI, TALPA, L'AXTICC), GIANCRISTOFORO ROMANO 

/•■<(.•- t). 52 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



three are inspired with a grace hitherto unknown in works of 
the kind — even the " Papa terrible " has acquired an expression 
of fatherly bonhomie in Romano's presentation. The relief is, 
at the same time, modelled with unusual delicacy, even a little 
affected nicety is not disdained : for example, the veil, which 
reveals rather than hides the features of Duchess Isabella, 
which the contemporary letter already mentioned extols as 
"cosa molto artificiosa. " The allegories of the reverses, in their 
carefully thought out composition, breathing throughout the 
keenest sense of beauty both in motive and form, are likewise 
jewels of their kind ; inspired in both respects by the antique, 
they nevertheless forfeit nothing of their attractive individual 
cachet. The proudly standing Goddess of Victory of the 
Gonzaga medal, with her Coan draperies flowing round her ; 
the indescribably graceful seated nude maiden on the Aragon 
medal, a marvel of expression and modelling on so small 
a scale ; Peace and Faith joining hands in alliance over the 
sacrificial fire on the medal of Julius — all are perfectly finished 
pictures. With entire justice does the witness already men- 
tioned say that they "ad judicio di ogni intelligente alii boni 
antichi se possono comparar," since not only in motive, but in 

53 



Italian Medals 



their innermost being they breathe the spirit of the antique. 
True, their composition has been dictated by an entirely 
different principle from the realism which in Pisano appeals to 
us with elemental power. We already stand confronted with 
the Cinquecento view of the world and art ! 

Besides these three undoubted pieces, some others have 
been quite recently added to the number of his works. Hitherto 
they had been attributed to an anonymous artist (or even, 
without any justification, to the Florentine painter, Filippino 
Lippi). On the ground of their great similarity in style, the 
time and place of their origin, the ties of relationship or friend- 
ship which existed between the persons depicted, W. Bode has 
recognised the hand of Giancristoforo Romano in the medals of 
Alfonso I. of Este (PI. XIII., 3) and of his wife, Lucrezia Borgia 
(PI. XIII., i), as well as in those of the otherwise unknown 
Jacopa Correggia (PI. XIII., 2), Maddalena de' Rossi and 
F. Francina. The medals of the Este couple were made in 
the year 1503, while one of the three redactions of the medal 
of Lucrezia, deviating by some slight alterations from the 
original, is not earlier than 1505. The assumption that the 
artist made the former in Mantua, the latter when passing 

54 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



through Ferrara on his way to Rome, has every show of prob- 
ability, since Alfonso and his wife were brother and sister-in- 
law of the artist's patroness, Isabella Gonzaga. It is likewise 
known that the families of the Correggio and Rossi of Parma 
were related or on friendly terms with the Gonzaga and Este. 
Decisive, however, is the criterion of style. The medals of 
Jacopa and Maddalena still retain much of the character of 
L'Antico — in the latter his realistic force, in the former the 
delight in emphasising the ornament in costume and head- 
dress (see his Balzo medal) ; while in grace and delicacy of 
modelling both medals far surpass the earlier artist's skill. 
Now the portraits of Lucrezia have so much in common with 
those of Isabella Gonzaga both in style and arrangement, and 
that of Alfonso, more especially in its soft modelling, so 
vividly recalls the portrait on the medal of Julius, that the 
attribution of the pieces to the same hand seems almost ir- 
refutable. It is true that the perfectly charming representation 
of captive Cupid on the reverse of one of the medals of 
Lucrezia seems, in its free pictorial composition, to contrast 
with the severe plastic manner of the pieces certainly made by 
Giancristoforo Romano. Nevertheless it is more nearly ap- 

55 



Italian Medals 



proached by the earlier redaction of the Cupid scene on the 
Correggio and Rossi medals, and it is by no means inexplicable 
that the scene should be developed later in a more picturesque 
form. Above all, however, it is the same spirit of exquisite 
grace and deep sense of beauty that connects the fettered 
Cupid with the allegories of the undoubted pieces. Not with- 
out reason has so accomplished a judge as Friedlander 
pronounced the medal adorned by this scene "one of the most 
beautiful, most charming, and most rare." 

In addition to these pieces, restored to our master by 
Bode, we are inclined to ascribe to him the medal of the 
youthful Cardinal Domenico Grimani. Hitherto it has been 
regarded as a work of the Venetian medallist Vittore Gam- 
bello, probably on the sole ground that Gambello made a 
medal of the same personage in more advanced years, on the 
reverse of which the composition of the type of the earlier 
medal was copied exactly (see below, where we shall speak of 
Gambello at greater length). In style, however, the two 
pieces are worlds apart ! While the latter may be classed with 
Gambello's other works, the former shows many points of 
similarity with the medals of Giancristoforo, even to the form 

56 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



of the letters and the peculiarity that the letters on the reverse 
are smaller and thicker than those on the obverse. Moreover, 
the subject on the reverse, Theology and Philosophy, sym- 
bolised by two female figures, most strikingly corresponds, 
both in composition and outline, with those on the other 
medals of the master, but has not the smallest resemblance to 
Gambello's style, as a comparison between this and the repeti- 
tion of the same composition on his Grimani medal clearly 
shows. Since Giancristoforo's medal represents Grimani, 
who became cardinal in 1493 at the age of thirty, as at the 
most thirty-five years of age, it must have been made during 
the artist's Mantuan period, while on some chance visit to 
Venice, where the Cardinal may also have been accidentally at 
the time. That, however, his later medal, which represents 
him at the age of fifty to fifty-five, repeats the design on the 
reverse of the earlier piece was perhaps due to some express 
wish of the sitter. According to what we have just said, these 
medals must have been made about 1515 ; in fact (as we shall 
presently see), Gambello was occupied in Rome at the Papal 
Mint from 151 5 to 15 17. 

The series of Quattrocento medallists in Mantua closes in 

57 



Italian Medals 



Gian Marco Cavalli (born in Mantuan territory in 1450). Em- 
ployed from 1 48 1 onwards at the Gonzaga Court as goldsmith, 
engraver, and sculptor in bronze, he was also active as a 
die-engraver after 1497, and in 1506 was summoned by the 
Emperor Maximilian I. to Hall in Tyrol, the seat of the most 
important mint in the emperor's hereditary dominions, to pre- 
pare dies for the new coinage. Not only do many examples 
of this new issue still exist, but we also possess the so-called 
testone, i.e. the cast of the wax model on a large scale, which 
served as a model in the cutting of the steel die (PI. XIII., 4). 
The two examples extant in Vienna and Berlin display on the 
obverse the portraits jugate of the imperial pair (the sketches — 
taken from life— for the design are preserved in the Accademia 
at Venice) ; on the reverse is the Virgin suckling the Holy 
Child surrounded by a glory of cherubs' heads. In the severe 
treatment of the heads the example of L'Antico is unmistak- 
ably recognisable, while the reverse is conceived in a thoroughly 
pictorial spirit. A later work of Cavalli shows a freer, more 
lifelike conception and a more vigorous, more finely elaborated 
relief. This is the beautiful medal of the Carmelite monk, 
Battista Spagnoli, a member of a noble family in Mantua, 

58 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



highly esteemed in his time as a versifier of incredible fertility 
(PI. XIII., 5). Since Spagnoli, born in 1448, is represented in 
old age, and yet in the inscription is not designated as the 
General of his Order, we may place the date of the medal 
shortly before 15 13. The intimacy which existed between the 
poet and the sculptor, and to which an epigram of the former 
bears witness, has made it possible to attribute to Cavalli not 
only the medal of Spagnoli, but also his bust in bronze in the 
Berlin Museum. The similarity in style, again, between this 
work and the well-known bust of Mantegna over his grave in 
S. Andrea in Mantua, has made the supposition that Cavalli 
was also the sculptor of the latter all the more probable, since 
he was chosen by the celebrated painter to act as executor of 
his last will. In this case we have to recognise in our medal- 
list the foremost bronze sculptor in Mantua.^ 

When we consider the wealth of Mantua in medallists, the 
poverty of Padua seems doubly surprising. For Padua was 
the earliest and most zealous foster-mother of every kind of 
cult of the antique in North Italy ; within her walls had 

^ The similarity of style between the medal of the Mantuan jurist Francesco Bonatti 
and that of Spagnoli is so great that we are inclined to assume the former also to have been 
a work of Cavalli. 

59 



Italian Medals 



originated the first products of the newly reawakened art, and 
later, at the same time as Pisano was propagating the new 
tendency, she had become, thanks to the genius of Donatello, 
the seat of an extraordinarily vigorous artistic activity, in 
which the art of casting in bronze was almost exclusively 
employed. This art afterwards flourished uninterruptedly in 
Padua on into the Cinquecento not only in the higher art, but 
also in more trivial minor works. Witness to this activity is 
to be found in the innumerable plaques, baisers de paix, 
caskets, inkstands, candelabra, bells, lamps, and the like, of 
the Paduan school of metal-founders. But not until the six- 
teenth century was in full course did the art of the medallist 
rise to its full activity in this city ; in the Quattrocento we 
have to record the names of only two representatives of the art : 
Bartolomeo Bellano {circa 1430-98) and Andrea Briosco called 
Riccio (1470-1532). 

Bellano's artistic career was a varied one. As a pupil of 
Donatello, during the master's residence in Padua, he was 
summoned by him (about 1460) to Florence, to aid him in his 
last great work, the pulpit of San Lorenzo. After Donatello's 

death he went to Rome to make medals for Paul II. In 1467 

60 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



he erected the bronze monument to the Pope in Perugia ; he 
then returned to his native city, where, from 1469 onwards, we 
find him occupied with important works of sculpture in marble 
and bronze, more particularly for the church of S. Antonio. 
His sojourn was only once again briefly interrupted (in 1479 
or 1480) by a summons to Constantinople from the Sultan 
Mohammed II. No signed medals can be attributed to 
Bellano ; but, on Vasari's evidence, among the many that 
were cast for Paul II., those that refer to the Council of the 
year 1466 may best be ascribed to him (PI. XIII., 6). Of this 
medal the Weimar connoisseurs express a highly favourable 
opinion : *'The portrait of the Pope has a noble, aspiring 
character, is well drawn, in strong relief, smoothly and flow- 
ingly treated. The eye of the beholder is delighted with the 
harmonious effect of the whole, as with the intellectual truth- 
fulness of the portrait." With still greater probability does 
Vasari attribute to the artist the medal of the celebrated pro- 
fessor of jurisprudence, Antonio Royzelli or Roselli (1378- 
1466). For he had carved Roselli's monument in Sant' 
Antonio. The medal, which shows us Roselli as an aged 

man, must have been made about 1460. It is thoughtfully 

61 



Italian Medals 



conceived and has an entirely naturalistic treatment of the 
relief, that betrays the disciple of Donatello (PI. XIII., 7). 

Andrea Riccio, a pupil of Bellano, is especially known in 
the history of art as the creator of the world-renowned can- 
delabrum in the Santo at Padua ; he was, however, also 
known as a sculptor of figure subjects (among other things 
the tomb of Delia Torre at Verona, some reliefs in the Santo 
and in the Academy at Venice ; particularly, however, in 
numerous works of decorative minor art of the kind mentioned 
above). The medal with his likeness (PI. XIII., 8), in the in- 
scription of which the Italian nickname derived from his curly 
hair is translated into its Latin equivalent, ''Crispus, " is, it is 
true, not signed. Nevertheless, not only because of the corre- 
spondence in the features with those of the bust in relief on 
the candelabrum in the church of the Santo, but equally 
owing to the resemblance of style between the two works, no 
doubt has ever existed that the medal is the work of Riccio 
himself. It shows the same strongly defined conception of 
the type, the decided characterisation, bordering on the rude, 
which frequently obtrude themselves in his figures ; neverthe- 
less the work is full of power and life, and still entirely in the 

62 



Plate XIII 





Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



spirit of the Quattrocento. Of some of the other medals con- 
jecturally ascribed to the master, that of Girolamo Donato, 
the Venetian envoy at the Curia (PI. XIII., 9), has the greatest 
evidence of probabiHty in its favour, since it was for Donato 
that Riccio made in 1492 the five reliefs (still preserved in the 
Accademia at Venice) for the altar in the Church of the 
Servites in his native city. Less by the portrait, which is 
somewhat tame for our artist, than by the excellently com- 
posed and cast reverse with the figure (difficult, however, to 
explain) of a handsome sleeping youth, from whom two 
Cupids are engaged in trying to steal divine wisdom from a 
half-opened book, the medal reveals many points of resem- 
blance with other allegorical scenes in Riccio's plaques ; 
indeed, it has itself been repeated in the form of a plaque. 

At the close of our wanderings through North Italy, let us 
return again to our starting-point, Verona. The medallists 
whom we find employed here in the second and third decades 
of the Cinquecento have, it is true, nothing in common with 
the art of Pisanello ; neither are they affected by the style 
of the influential head of the Paduan school— Andrea Man- 

63 



Italian Medals 



tegna. Their models are rather to be sought among the later 

medallists of Venice (see below), as also among the masters of 

the local school of painters, which was now at its zenith. It 

is accordingly a member of the latter school whom we first 

meet with — Gian Francesco Caroto (1470-1546), with his 

solitary medal of the young hereditary Marquis of Monferrato 

of the year 1518 (PI. XIV., i). Four years before, Caroto had 

been summoned to execute the frescoes at Casale Monferrato, 

on which he was long engaged. His signed medal, which 

Vasari has already recorded, is an original work, not only 

in the portrait, conceived in a vividly pictorial manner, of the 

princely boy, but especially in "the extraordinarily bold and 

majestic style, which recalls that of Michael Angelo, of the 

drawing of the design on the reverse " (Friedlander). Hercules 

is represented punishing Vice, represented by a nude woman 

with a bag of money in her hand. If in the person depicted 

we are here dealing with a boy scarcely beyond the years 

of childhood, the inscription on a second medal of Veronese 

origin, again a unique piece, proclaims the artist Franc. Maria 

Teperello himself a "little boy." The statement, however, is 

not to be taken literally, for his medal of the Bellunese scholar 

64 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



Lodovico da Ponte (i 467-1 520), although no very striking 

work, is by no means that of a boyish hand. 

Much more important, both in number and value, are the 

works of the goldsmith, painter, and engraver, Gian Maria 

Pomedello. Concerning his life we are entirely ignorant. 

Judging from the persons whom he has immortalised, it would 

appear that he worked not only in his native city, but also in 

Mantua, Vicenza, and Venice. His fourteen medals, for the 

most part signed, date from 151 7 to 1527 ; his engravings 

on copper from 1534. The earliest of the medals, those of 

Maximilian I., Charles V., and Francis I. of France, probably 

owed their origin to the conclusion of the peace of 151 7, which 

put an end to the long-continued siege of Verona. Those of 

Charles and Francis I. are probably the earliest that we 

possess of these sovereigns. On the other hand, the tiny 

medal with Pomedello's own likeness (PI. XIV., 2) is to be 

assigned to his later years, not only on account of the age 

at which he is depicted, but still more because of the freer 

conception and altogether excellent workmanship. In both 

respects it far surpasses the medals, extant in three redactions, 

of the noble Venetian lady, Isabella Sessa-Michiel (PI. XIV., 3). 
F 65 



Italian Medals 



The reverse of the latter, however, a gracefully poised and 
most delicately modelled goddess of fortune, is much more 
successful than the archaistic nude figure of Hercules, derived 
from Greek coins, on the reverse of his own portrait. We are, 
moreover, at a loss to understand the connection which the 
artist wished to indicate between himself and the ancient hero. 
In our opinion Friedlander seems to form a somewhat too 
favourable estimate of Pomedello's works when he says that 
"in composition and execution they rival the best." 

Still more abundant is the work of the last of the Veronese 
medallists of the Quattrocento, Giulio della Torre (circa 1480- 
1540), the scion of a patrician house, which bestowed on 
its native city a series of distinguished physicians, jurists, and 
theologians. Our artist was himself an advocate, afterwards 
Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Padua. Al- 
though only an amateur in his art, he practised it with such 
love and industry that he has bequeathed to us no less than 
twenty signed pieces, and six which, although unsigned, are 
nevertheless undoubtedly from his hand. As is the custom of 
amateurs, he chiefly depicted the members of his own family 

(eight pieces) ; also some statesmen, patricians, and scholars 

66 



Vittore Pisano and his Successors 



of Verona, as well as his colleagues at the University of 
Padua ; and two painters. Strangely small — two only — is the 
number of his feminine portraits ; one of these, however, is to 
be reckoned his best work. It is that of his daughter Beatrice, 
who reappears at full length with her four children in a well- 
conceived group on the reverse. His own likeness on his 
only dated medal (1527) is a successful work (PI. XIV., 4) ; it 
shows, more especially in the treatment of the hair, the 
laboured carefulness of the dilettante. Less pleasing is the 
composition of the reverse, where the Genius of Justice is 
represented in a strained attitude and with clumsy gesture, 
della Torre in an aflfected pose ; the folds of his robe as well 
as the chiton of his guide are very conventionally treated. 
Much more original and happy in its realism is the reverse 
of the medal of Bartolomeo Socino, a member of a celebrated 
Sienese family of jurists (PI. XIV., 5). The representation 
of the teacher dispensing wisdom to his pupils ex cathedra 
(Socino was an ornament of the University of Padua) is a free 
and highly skilful modification of the subject that we en- 
counter, in an 'entirely constrained form, on the tombs of 

mediaeval professors at Bologna, Pistoja, Pisa, and elsewhere. 

67 



Italian Medals 



In dignity of conception and monumental modelling, the 
portrait on the obverse also surpasses the more truthful like- 
ness of della Torre himself. 

Two other medallists, Matteo dal Nassaro (died 1548) and 
Gian Giacomo Caraglio (died 1551 or 1570), better known 
as an engraver, carried their talents to foreign lands ; the 
former to the royal Court of France, the latter to that of 
Poland. They need not be further considered in relation 
to the medallic art of Italy. Until the end of the Cinquecento 
Verona produced no single other master that we can name, so 
that even in the second part of our work, dedicated to the 
struck medals of the sixteenth century, we shall have no 
occasion to return thither. 



68 



Plate XIV 




CAROTO, POMEDELLO, DELLA TORRE, GUIDIZZANI 

Face p. 68 



Ill 



THE MEDALLISTS OF VENICE, BOLOGNA 
AND NEIGHBOURHOOD 



Ill 



THE MEDALLISTS OF VENICE, BOLOGNA 
AND NEIGHBOURHOOD 

HE spot which we now approach, the City of the 
Lagoons, is one more than commonly favourable to 
the display of the art of the medallist. Her extensive 
patriciate, the wealth of dignities and offices with which the 
republic encompassed herself, the immense number of pageants, 
anniversaries, and festivals, which were yearly celebrated for 
official reasons or in obedience to time-honoured traditions, 
the general bent of the populace towards the display of 
pomp and splendour — all were factors calculated to promote 
the advance of the new art. And for centuries also the soil 
had been directly prepared to receive it. As early as 1335 
Oliviero Forzetta, a wealthy citizen of the neighbouring 
Treviso, a town subject to the republic, had founded a cabinet 
of antiquities; and in 1347 a monk of the Convent of 

71 




Italian Medals 



San Niccolo had bequeathed to it his collection of antiques. 
Both collections must assuredly have contained specimens of 
Greek and Roman coins. The taste for the products of 
ancient art must also have been early awakened in Venice 
herself by her constant intercourse with the East : coins and 
gems were more especially collected. The Camaldolese monk, 
Ambrogio Traversari (1386- 1439), one of the pioneers of the 
Florentine Renaissance, speaks in his letters with praise of 
a medal of Berenice and of a gold coin of Alexander the 
Great, which he had seen at the house of a distinguished 
Venetian. In Venice the far - travelled Cyriac of Ancona 
acquired a gem of the great King, and it was a Venetian, 
Pope Paul II., who amassed the most important and most 
valuable collection of coins and gems of which the Renais- 
sance could boast. 

We have already seen that the creator of the earliest 
medals is probably to be looked for in the Venetian family 
of die-engravers — the Sesti. Beginning with their produc- 
tions, we can even at this day point to more than fifty 
Venetian medals by known artists, while the number of 
anonymous pieces is half as great again. But even in Venice 

72 



The Medallists of Venicet etc* 



half a century passes away after the appearance of the 
Carrara medals before we encounter the first modern medal. 
Besides the anonymous portrait of Fra Mauro (who died 
1459), the celebrated cosmographer and author of the map 
of the world, which we still admire in one of the halls of the 
ducal palace, the earliest Venetian medal is that of the un- 
fortunate Doge Francesco Foscari, who, deprived of his 
dignities in 1457 after a reign of thirty-four years, died a 
few days afterwards of grief. It is a vigorous, if somewhat 
rude work, which in its reverse — Venetia clad in armour 
sitting enthroned on the lion-throne — is altogether inspired 
by the tendencies to the antique that prevailed at the time 
in Padua. The initials ("AN") of the artist are insufficient 
to dispel the obscurity of its origin.^ 

About the same time, however, we encounter in Marco 
Guidizzani the earliest artist, with whose name at least — 
thanks to his signature on three medals — we are acquainted. 
Beyond this, however, we know nothing concerning him, and 
can only ascertain that his works were produced between 



' Whether the medal of the Doge Cristoforo Moro, signed "ANT," belongs to the 
same artist is doubtful on account of the difference in style. 

73 



Italian Medals 



1450 and 1460. Among them the first place belongs un- 
doubtedly to the medal of Bartolomeo Colleoni, Venice's 
"Marschall Vorwarts, " whose magnificent equestrian statue 
looks down so commandingly from its slender pedestal in 
front of SS. Giovanni e Paolo. The medal (PI. XIV., 6) 
brings into greater prominence the more humane and finer 
qualities of the hero, in whom his soldiers found a leader 
solicitous for their welfare, and his native Bergamo a benefactor 
of princely munificence during the peaceful last fifteen years 
of his life, which he spent in repose. To these qualities the 
inscription, as well as the somewhat ambiguous design on the 
reverse, refers. The plummet, of which the string is held by 
Colleoni, here depicted as a nude hero, is probably intended 
to symbolise his unswerving rectitude of judgment. The 
composition, which shows the inspiration of the antique, 
is not unskilfully designed ; the relief is flat, but handled 
in a severely sculpturesque manner. The reverse of the 
Giustiniani medal, where a Bear (the emblem of the Giusti- 
niani) is represented as reaching down the fruit of a palm 
tree (Peace) for the Lion (Venice) couched beside it, con- 
tains much of the monumental quality, although nothing 

74 



The Medallists of Vemce, etc* 



of the freedom and spirit of the similar animal scenes of 
Pisanello. 

A weaker and more sentimental nature, more concerned 
with the graceful rhythm of outward form than the character 
of his subject, is Giovanni Boldu. In imitation probably of 
Pisano, he calls himself " Pictor " on his medals, although of 
his works as a painter no knowledge has descended to us. He 
also took pleasure in signing his name now in the Greek, now 
in the Hebrew language, a learned affectation that indicates 
the neighbourhood of Padua. To the same source may be 
traced his predilection for directly copying the examples of 
antiquity : thus the head of the young Caracalla from an 
imperial coin ; Arion seated on the Dolphin from a didrachm of 
Tarentum; finally, Apollo with the Lyre (PI. XV., i), whom, on 
his medal of the unknown musician, Nicholas Schliefer, he 
took from the well-known Greek intaglio with the Judgment 
of Marsyas, known as the ''Seal of Nero." It was this 
gem which Ghiberti mounted in a rich gold setting for the 
Cabinet of the Medici, and which is now to be seen in the 
museum at Naples. In one or other of the many Renaissance 
copies this celebrated gem may have met the eyes of our 

75 



Italian Medals 



artist.^ The fact that the greater number of his eight pieces, 
produced between 1457 and 1466, celebrate not statesmen and 
dignitaries, but poets and virtuosi, seems to indicate a vein of 
idealism in his character. This is also shown, when in one of 
his own portraits (PI. XV., 2) Boldu idealises himself — again 
following the example of Roman coins — as a nude hero with 
the victor's crown in his hair. (It is interesting to compare 
this medal with a second portrait of himself, which is really 
true to life.) It is true that the sentimental lamentation 
(evidently of the artist himself) over the evanescence of earthly 
things, as symbolised by the skull on the reverse, is not in 
accordance with this treatment of himself, either from the 
standpoint of the spirit of the antique or (still less) from that 
of the Renaissance. Of the Cupid here transformed into the 
Genius of Death we have already spoken on p. 47. The 
Weimar dilettanti have on the whole excellently characterised 
the works of the master as simple and pleasing in mode of 
representation, ingenious in expression, freer, easier, and 
executed in more cultivated taste than the works of Pasti." 



* Compare on this point E. Muntz, Les Prdcurseurs de la Renaissance, Paris, 1882, 
p. 196 ; p. 192 of the same work gives an excellent illustration of the gem. 

76 



The Medallists of Venicet etc» 



In addition to this Boldu deserves the praise, doubly meri- 
torious in a ''painter," of severe sculpturesque relief and 
careful, intelligent modelling of the nude. 

We must, however, hurriedly pass over the four signed 
medals of Doges by the mysterious artist " G. T. F."; and we 
can only mention the medal of Mohammed II., which Gentile 
Bellini, summoned to Constantinople in 1479, cast either there 
or immediately on his return, in addition to the portrait of the 
Sultan, which is still preserved. Instead, we reproduce the 
far more excellent medal (PI. XV., 3) which is signed and 
dated (1481) by a totally unknown master Constantius. This, 
if any medal, is conspicuous above its contemporaries, not 
only on account of its size (12 cm. in diameter), but because 
in grandeur of conception, telling expression, and vivacity of 
representation, combined with excellent and broad modelling, 
it approaches so near to Pisanello that we can scarcely be 
surprised that it was ascribed to him by Vasari. 

Of an entirely different character are the works of Fra 
Antonio da Brescia, of whom nothing is known beyond the 
place of his birth. Judging from the seven portrait medals 
which he has left, he must have worked in Venice and its 

77 



Italian Medals 



neighbourhood, and that from the year 1487 until 1513. Our 
first impression on looking at his medals (PI. XV., 4), as is 
also the case with the portraits of his Bergamasc neighbour, 
Giovanni Battista Moroni, is : precisely so must the nobles, 
procurators, and canons here depicted have looked during life ! 
So convincingly does the absolutely photographic fidelity of 
the portraits force itself on the beholder. The master, it is 
true, was obliged to pay a heavy penalty for his keen grasp of 
the actual in the scenes on his reverses, so awkwardly com- 
posed, so hard, occasionally so ill-modelled, are his allegorical 
figures. 

Contemporary with the monk of Brescia, though beginning 
earlier and ending later, Vittore Gambello or Camelio dis- 
played great energy as goldsmith, die-engraver, bronze 
sculptor, and medallist. His earliest medal, that of Sixtus IV., 
must have been made before 1484; his latest, that of the Doge 
Andrea Gritti, is of the year 1523. In his early works, such 
as the portraits of the two artist brothers Gentile and Giovanni 
Bellini (PI. XV., 5, XVI., i), he still displays the vigorous 
realistic conception of the Quattrocento ; in his later he 

becomes weaker in expression, more indistinct in modelling. 

78 



Plate XV 




The Medallists of Venicet etc* 



See, for instance, the medal already mentioned (p. 56) of the 
Cardinal Domenico Grimani (PL XVI., 2), the most brilliant 
Maecenas of Venice, who bequeathed to the museum of the 
ducal palace his collection of ancient statues, and to whom 
the library owes the breviary of world-wide celebrity that 
bears his name. In the manner in which, on the reverse of 
the Grimani medal, Gambello has invested the composition of 
Giancristoforo Romano with his own individuality of style, his 
own expression of form, the weakness of the scenes on the 
reverses of his medals in general is clearly brought to light. 
We see that generalised beauty of form, going back to the im- 
perfectly understood model of Greek relief, which governs all 
the later sculpture of Venice ; the excessive precision in pose 
and gesture in which all direct living force is lost ; the over- 
done, entirely pictorial scenes with elaborate effects of per- 
spective, and subjects usually imitated from the antique, 
which reveal the absence of a refined perception of the qualities 
required by this branch of art. In his own likeness, the 
master follows strictly the lines of the Roman imperial coins. 
We possess two redactions of this portrait — one cast, the 
other struck. For besides his eight cast medals, he has left 

79 



Italian Medals 



five more which were struck, of which that of Pope Julius II. 
of the year 1506 is the most successful. To him therefore 
belongs the credit — if such it be — not indeed of having been 
the first to attempt to revive the process of striking medals, 
for in this he had had some predecessors (see later under Fr. 
Enzola), but to him — we repeat — belongs the credit of having 
improved the method of striking to such a degree that a 
high relief could now be produced, such as is postulated by 
the medal as opposed to the coin. To him also belongs 
the further credit — more especially in his capacity of die- 
engraver for the Papal Mint from 15 15 until 15 17 — of having 
brought the new process into practical, more productive 
application. 

We content ourselves with the mere mention of the two 

very mediocre medals by the entirely unknown Giovanni 

Guido Agrippa (about 15 10-1520) of the Doge Loredano. 

Of the eight pieces dated between 1534 and 1542 by Andrea 

Spinelli, who was born in Parma, and worked at Venice 

from 1534 to 1572 as Warden of the Mint, we reproduce 

the medal of the Senator Girolamo Zani (PI. XVI., 3), whose 

portrait, with its stamp of commonplace fidelity, closely 

80 



The Medallists of Venicet etc^ 



approaches the manner of Fra Antonio, while at the same 
time all the refinements of the stylistic treatment of the 
Cinquecento are already employed to bring into relief the 
sainted patron on the reverse. The design here is, moreover, 
borrowed from Durer's large "St. Jerome in the Desert," 
probably the only instance of the German artist's influence 
on the works of the Italian medallists (Spinelli again repeats 
the same design on his medal of Girolamo Quirini). 

We close the series of known medallists of the City of 
the Lagoons with the name of Alessandro Vittoria (i 525-1608), 
who as architect and sculptor is, next to Sansovino, the most 
prominent figure among the artists of the Venetian Cinque- 
cento. Although his works in the main belong to the period 
of transition between the Renaissance and the Barocco, 
nevertheless as medallist he claims his place here at the 
close of the Quattrocento, since in opposition to the process 
of striking, which is the characteristic of his contemporaries 
throughout the rest of Italy, he again adopted the old 
genuine technique of casting, and that, too, once more in 
all its excellence. In their spirit and conception, it is true, 

the medals of Vittoria — the earliest of his youthful works — 
G 81 



Italian Medals 



belong, indeed, completely to the Cinquecento. But since 
the master — as is the case also in his imposing portrait 
busts — copied the actual with an artist's eye, he produced 
living representations of men of his own days. They are not 
staring portraits, mere hollow masks, for all their pretentious- 
ness of style, such as, with many honourable exceptions, 
we find on the medals of the later Cinquecento. Can we 
imagine a more characteristically lifelike reproduction of the 
mighty personality of Pietro Aretino — the dreaded pamphleteer, 
"the Scourge of Princes," as in his overweening vanity he 
loved to call himself, who, thanks to his mendacious and 
filthy, no less than shameless and sarcastic pen, maintained 
his place in the foremost rank of the celebrities of his 
time? (PI. XVI., 4). Or than the perhaps too freely draped 
bust "sans phrase" of Maddalena Liomparda, probably one 
of the numerous mistresses of Aretino, and the two remaining 
signed pieces by our artist? (PI. XVI. 5.) Besides these, to 
him we would also ascribe the four unsigned medals of 
Tomaso Rangone, the celebrated physician and scholar 
(who died in 1557). A member of the Ravenna family of 

Gianozzi, he only acquired the name of the noble Modenese 

82 



* The Medallists of Venicet etc* 



house from Guido Rangone, lord of Spilimbergo, in Friuli, 
who on the occasion of a severe illness owed his life 
to the physician's care. Not only the similarity of style, 
but also personal relations of many kinds existing between 
the artist and scholar speak in favour of our attribution. 
In 1562, the year when one of the Rangone medals was 
produced, Vittoria was received into the Confraternity of 
San Marco, when — according to the inscription — Tomaso 
presided over the Brotherhood as Guardian. And as early 
1 553 Vittoria, in company with Sansovino, was entrusted 
by Rangone with the architectural and sculptural restoration 
of the church of S. Giuliano. Finally, Rangone's bust, 
carved by our artist at a later period, is preserved in the 
Correr Museum. The correct interpretation of the beautiful 
reverse of two of the Rangone medals (PI. XVI., 6), representing 
the birth of Hebe, we owe to A. von Sallet, the late Director 
of the Berlin Cabinet. Weaker in execution, but more 
animated in expression, is the largest of the Rangone medals 
(diameter 53 mm.), its reverse — a female figure crowning a 
bull — a marvel of modelling in the light and even low 
relief. 

83 



Italian Medals 



But how in the limited space at our disposal are we to 

make a selection among the anonymous masters, so as 

to give our readers an idea of the wealth and variety of 

their works ? We choose a few at random. And first, the 

medal of Aldus Manutius (PI. XVI., 7), which still preserves 

the austere style of the Quattrocento, although it can only 

have been produced after 1495, as is shown by the reverse 

with its beautiful emblem, copied from a denarius of the 

Emperor Titus, which Aldus adopted that year. We have 

also the somewhat weak portrait of Agostino Barbarigo 

(1486-1501), in which we should not recognise the energy 

of the Doge who seized Cyprus and headed the league 

against Charles VIII. of France (PI. XVII., 3). Far otherwise 

does the energetic likeness of Pietro Grimani, Knight of 

St. John, brother of the Cardinal Domenico, appeal to us; 

all that we know of him is that, as orator of the Republic, 

he acted successfully in Hungary against the common 

hereditary enemy of the two powers — the Turks (PI. XVI., 8). 

The characteristic medal of Leonardo Zantani (PL XVII., i), 

an entirely unknown personality, belongs to a series of five 

pieces, all alike excellent, which on account of their date 

84 



Plate XVI 




8 



GAMBELLO, ALESS. VITTORIA ANONYMOUS VENETIANS 



The Medallists of Venice^ etc* 



have been designated as works of the Master of 1523." 
The two graceful, most tenderly handled busts of Caterina 
Sandella, a mistress of Pietro Aretino, and of their daughter 
Adria (made before 1548, when she was married), bring us 
near to Alessandro Vittoria, with whose medals they show 
the greatest affinity (PI. XVII., 2). The medal was, as Aretino 
himself tells us, cast in memory of the mother, who had 
died young ; hence the idealised arrangement of the hair, 
and the Greek profile, while the likeness of the daughter 
on the reverse with the wonderful wealth of hair, dressed in 
a so-called corn-plait at the top of the head and disposed in 
magnificent braids behind, appears entirely true to life. The 
medal, cast about 1 560-1 570, of Antonio Bossi (PI. XVII. 4), 
in the effective figure of Kama on the reverse, conceived 
somewhat in the style of Tintoretto, and the accompanying 
legend, " Nunquam Moriar," rebukes the assurance of the 
sitter's grievous falsehood, for not the smallest information 
concerning his person or actions has come down to us. Of 
the independence and vigour with which the art of the 
medallist held its own — therein entirely resembling the second 
bloom of Venetian painting — amid the mannerism that had 

85 



L 



Italian Medals 



invaded the art of the rest of Italy, we have a gratifying 
proof in the medal of Marino Grimani, of the year 1595, 
with its dignified portrait and its splendid stylistic treatment 
of the Lion of S. Mark on the reverse (PI. XVII., 7). 

The device " Bononia docet " retains its significance even 
as regards the relation of the ancient and famous seat of 
learning to the art of the medallist. Nowhere else did this 
art minister so predominantly to the glory of the lights of 
learning. Some members of the family of the ruling tyrant, 
one or another prince of the Church, papal legate or con- 
dottiere also succeeded in gaining its attention. Amid such 
favourable conditions of existence, it is difficult to explain why 
the local art did not develop until late. Domenico Berardi, 
with his single medal of Malvezzi of the year 1477, forms an 
exception. For a long space of time the celebrities of Bologna 
were obliged to turn to the medallists of neighbouring Ferrara 
to obtain the fulfilment of their wishes. And from Ferrara 
came the master, who in the course of two decades of constant 
activity gained once for all for his art an extension and import- 
ance that might compete with that which it enjoyed at the 
Court of the Este. 

86 



The Medallists of Venice^ etc* 



Sperandio is the most productive of the Quattrocento 
medallists ; we possess forty-five pieces signed by him, which 
bringf before us a motley series of the celebrities of his time : 
scholars and poets, physicians and astrologers, military heroes 
and diplomatists, professors and senators, monks, bishops and 
cardinals, princes and tyrants. In the circles of the dilettanti 
his name is — so to speak — a collective designation : and the 
esteem in which his works are held has been beyond all ques- 
tion ever since the Weimar connoisseurs proclaimed their 
enthusiastic admiration, extolling far above the works of 
Pisano "his artistic skill in proportion and form as well as 
in the pictorial taste shown in the composition of the reverses." 
The more intimate knowledge of the art of the Quattrocento 
and the more acutely critical eye, with which we now regard 
it, do not indeed justify Goethe's verdict. Though some of his 
portraits are unusually life-like, and, in the rarely found good 
casts, are wrought with great artistic skill, still it would appear 
in general that too numerous commissions had betrayed him 
into hasty work and led to the mechanical exploitation of his 
talent. It can scarcely, therefore, be a matter for surprise if the 
greater number of his portraits display the same character, and 

87 



Italian Medals 



that we fail to perceive any advance in the artistic development 
of their creator. Still less do the reverses approach those of 
Pisano. Instead of the magnificent designs inspired with life 
and monumental grandeur, Sperandio gives us almost invari- 
ably abstruse or coarse allegories veiled in a pseudo-antique 
style ; only in the rarest cases do we meet with realistic scenes 
taken from military life, such as (among others) in the 
Correggio, Bentivoglio, and Grati medals. See, too, with what 
\ lack of understanding and what clumsiness he combines 

Pisano's medals of Novello Malatesta and Gianfrancesco 
Gonzaga to produce the Grati medal (PI. XVIII., 3); and in 
the Bentivoglio medal with what effrontery he reproduces 
in the contrary sense Pisano's medal of Lodovico Gonzaga ! 
And if, not without reason, we throw the responsibility for the 
choice of his allegories on the taste of the time, more especi- 
ally of the scholars, poets, and professors depicted, still the 
execution, for which the artist is alone responsible, is almost 
equally unpleasant, the drawing almost invariably devoid of 
spirit and delicacy, the modelling superficial (except where 
corrected by chasing, which is, however, usually dispensed 

with), the relief strong and rough, without finer transitions 

88 



Plate XVII 




ANONYMOUS VENETIANS, SPERANDIO 



Face /). 88 



The Medallists of Venice^ etc* 



and, therefore, ineffective. Hence, on closer examination we 
restore to the earlier master his overwhelming right of priority 
and assign Sperandio a place in the series of medallists of the 
fifteenth century, not only after Pisano, but also after lesser 
masters, such as Pasti, Constantius, and Marescotti. 

The circumstances of Sperandio's life are only fragment- 
arily known. Born at Mantua about 1425, he removed in 1437 
with his father the goldsmith Bartolomeo — a member of the 
Roman family of the Savelli — to Ferrara, where he fell under 
the influence of Pisano, Pasti, and Marescotti. About 1450 
he appears at Mantua, after 1460 at Milan, where he produced 
his first medal of the Duke Francesco Sforza (PI. XVII., 5), 
a somewhat dry, spiritless work, the reverse of which is a direct 
copy of the Malatesta temple on one of Fasti's medals. From 
1463 to 1477 he dwelt in Ferrara, employed by the Este more 
as a sculptor than a medallist ; only three of the twenty medals 
which he produced there being dedicated to the reigning 
family. Among the rest we may mention as conspicuous that 
of Jacopo Trotti (PI. XVII., 8), minister and envoy of Ercole I. 
(the reverse offers an appalling example of Sperandio's taste- 
less allegories) ; further, that of the ducal orator Antonio 

89 



Italian Medals 



Sarzanella (PI. XIX., i), with a reverse which is but little 
better (Prudence seated on a throne composed of two dogs) ; 
and especially that of Niccolo da Correggio (1450- 1508) 
(PI. XVIII., i). The last was the son-in-law of Bartolomeo 
Colleoni, a no less celebrated military hero; he was, more- 
over, one of the earliest dramatic poets of Italy, and so accom- 
plished a courtier that the highly cultured Marchioness Isabella 
Gonzaga was able to describe him as '*piu atilato et de rime 
et cortesie erudito cavagliere et barone che si ritrovasse in 
Italia." Here for once the reverse shows a pleasing realism, 
and is a skilful circular composition ; and its interpretation as 
an illustration of the biblical inscription round it (Ps. Ixxxv. 13) 
is unconstrained. 

After a passing sojourn at Faenza we find Sperandio in 
1478 at Bologna, which he did not leave again until 1495. 
Here he produced important works of sculpture (the Tomb of 
Alexander V., busts of Bentivoglio, Sanuti, Barbazza, decora- 
tions of the Church of La Santa) ; and the fact that from 
1486-1488 he was obliged to depend for support on the public 
alms-box seems the more inexplicable. One of the earliest 

of the fifteen medals which he produced in Bologna (before 

90 



Platti XVIII 




SPERANDIO 

Face i>. 90 



The Medallists of Venice^ etc» 



1482) is that of Federigo Montefeltre, Duke of Urbino 
(PI. XVII., 6), the model of an enlightened ruler, inspired with 
the noblest and highest ideals. This medal it was which 
chiefly betrayed Goethe into his exaggerated panegyric on the 
master. It is, indeed, one of Sperandio's greatest achieve- 
ments ; unfortunately the equestrian figure on the reverse is 
badly proportioned and unsuccessfully adapted to the circular 
field. The portrait of the world-renowned Professor of Law, 
Andrea Barbazza (died 1480), is worthy of the master, although 
in the hand, half amputated by the truncation of the bust and 
hanging in the armhole of the gown, we notice the naturalistic 
degeneration of composition in relief (PI. XVIII., 2). Irre- 
proachable, however, is the portrait of the powerful adherent 
of the Bentivoglio, Count Carlo Grati (PI. XVIII., 3); true, 
with the limitations already specified as regards the design of 
the reverse. 

Sperandio returned to his native Mantua an aged man in 
1495, and on the occasion of the festival for the victory over 
Charles VIII. at Fornovo (July 6, 1495), in spite of his 
seventy years, produced three of his best medals, representing 
the leaders of the alliance against France : the Doge Agostino 

91 



Italian Medals 



Barbarigo, the Marquis Gianfrancesco Gonzaga, and Giovanni 
Bentivoglio II. (PI. XVIII., 4), the last of whom stayed in 
Mantua on account of the victory. We also give here 
(PI. XIX., 2) the medal of Bentivoglio's wife, the equally 
beautiful and intriguing Ginevra Sforza, daughter of the lord of 
Pesaro, the pleasing work of an anonymous artist of a some- 
what earlier date (about 1480). Little at this time did the prin- 
cess dream of the exile into which she and her husband would be 
forced to retire (in 1506), and for which her own cruel ambition 
and ungovernable pride had not least prepared the way. 

The place left vacant by Sperandio's departure was at once 
worthily filled by a son of Bologna, Francesco Raibolini, 
called il Francia (1450-1517), universally known as goldsmith 
and painter. Already in his three-and-thirtieth year, he stood 
at the head of the Guild of Goldsmiths, and between 1494 and 
1506 engraved the dies for the coins of Bentivoglio, and, after 
the banishment of the latter, for Pope Julius II., as well as for 
the Este and the Sforza of Pesaro, and many others, while, 
according to Vasari's testimony, he also modelled several 
medals. Although not signed, the four pieces of the Bolognese 

scholars Musotti and Ruggieri, of Cardinal Alidosi and of 

92 



The Medallists of Venicet etc* 



Bernardo Rossi, Bishop of Treviso, are attributed to his hand. 
Since the last named (PI. XIX., 3), however, was not produced 
until after 1519, it must be the work of one of his pupils. In 
this year Rossi came as legate to Bologna, and by his energetic 
interference put an end to the anarchy that had prevailed for 
years at Ravenna. To this the inscription on the reverse 
undoubtedly refers. The scene here, however, in spite of its 
unmistakably close correspondence to Francia's manner, 
betrays the more vigorous conception and the heavier hand of 
a disciple. This is rendered evident by the comparison with 
the reverse of the medal of Francesco Alidosi, the insolent 
favourite of Julius II., who was slain at Ravenna on the 
public road in 151 1 by Julius's nephew, Francesco della 
Rovere, afterwards Duke of Urbino (PL XIX., 4). The com- 
position of the reverse shows the refined grace, the treatment 
of the portrait, the somewhat vague softness that characterise 
Francia as painter ; the technical execution is of consummate 
perfection, as was to be expected from the excellent goldsmith. 
With these pieces we would place the coronation medal of 
Alexander VI. of the year 1492, which Friedlander has 
accepted as a work of Caradosso (PI. XIX., 5). That attri- 

93 



Italian Medals 



bution is, however, contradicted not only by the circumstance 
that the Milanese artist was not yet living in Rome at this 
period, and that the Pope would have been more likely to 
apply to his own subject, the already trusted Francia, but 
above all by the fact that in style, more especially in its soft, 
full modelling, our medal is nearer to the Bolognese master. 
The thick-set figures in baggy garments on the reverse have 
much more of the character of Francia than of the slender, 
elegant figures of Caradosso. In his capacity of die-engraver, 
beside the above-mentioned coins, Francia has also left us a 
number of smaller testoni (see pp. lo and 58), the finest of 
which displays the head of Giovanni Bentivoglio II., dated 
1494 (PI. XIX., 6). 

For the creators of the fairly numerous medals, which, 
about the same and at a somewhat later date, appeared in 
Bologna and the neighbourhood, we shall have to search 
among the more than two hundred pupils, who, according 
to Francia's own records, received their education in his studio ; 
the greater number of them were probably goldsmiths and 
medallists. We are not able to assign names to these works ; 
not until later *does a medallist appear again as a tangible 

94 



The Medallists of Venicet etc* 



personality in Bologna, and he has no immediate connection 
with Francia. Giovanni Zacchi, son of the sculptor Zaccaria 
of Volterra, was born at Bologna about 151 5, and there spent 
the greater part of his life in his father's profession, chiefly in 
the employment of the Farnese. His medals belong both 
to the beginning and to the end of his artistic career. Between 
the years 1536 and 1538 he produced a group of seven, perhaps 
eight, partly signed pieces. Among these the best (probably 
due to a casual sojourn at Venice) is a medal, cast in 1536, of 
Andrea Gritti (1454- 1538) at the age of eighty-two, the 
honoured conqueror of the imperial and French armies, and 
one of the few doges who did not spring from the Venetian 
Patriciate (PI. XIX., 7). The portrait, which is full of character 
and very carefully chased, is worthy to be classed, although its 
style is softer, with the medallic portraits of the Quattrocento. 
In the somewhat defiant Goddess of Fortune on the reverse 
are, however, already foreshadowed the generalised forms and 
the artificial grace of the later Bolognese Academy. Zacchi 
also executed several medals of Paul III. in Rome; among 
the many of this Pope the two dated 1536 and 1537 are 
probably due to his hand. We hear, again, in 1555, of several 

95 



Italian Medals 



medals of noble Roman ladies, on which he was then engaged 
for Cardinal Farnese, nephew of the Pope, although we are 
unable to specify any of these pieces, and here all information 
about the master ceases. With Zacchi ends the series of 
Bolognese medallists who in their works followed the good old 
traditions of the Quattrocento ; the struck medals of the later 
masters belong entirely to the manner of the Cinquecento. 

We may here most appropriately place some masters be- 
longing to the second half of the fifteenth century, who, 
although perhaps born elsewhere, worked for the most part 
in the Romagna and the Marches. Of these the most im- 
portant is Gianfrancesco Enzola, of Parma, with his contribu- 
tion of thirteen pieces, most of them signed and dated. The 
earliest (1456) displays the likeness in profile of Francesco 
Sforza, of Milan (PI. XIX., 8), in a much more animated light 
than we have seen it on Sperandio's medal. The greyhound 
on the reverse, towards which a hand is stretching from the 
clouds, is one of the many personal emblems {imprese) of the 
Duke. A few years later Enzola is employed in Faenza and 

Forli by the Manfredi and Ordelaffi ; is in Parma from 1467 

96 



Plate XIX 




8 

SPERANDIO, FRANCIA, ZACCHI, ENZOLA, &c 

Face p. 96 



The Medallists of Venicet etc* 



until 147 1 ; in 1472 we find him as Master of the Mint in 
Ferrara, and to the years 1474 and 1475 belong his four most 
successful medals of Costanzo Sforza, lord of Pesaro, which 
differ from one another only in their reverses. In the beautiful 
obverse (PL XX., i) survive — so far as regards the conception 
and carefulness of the work — the best traditions of Pasti, 
Petricini, and the later Ferrarese masters. On the other 
hand, our artist is not happy in the reverses (the figure of a 
horseman in armour, an army crossing a bridge, a fortress 
surrounded by a landscape). In their heraldic treatment they 
betray the seal-engraver ; in fact, a seal of the city of Parma 
engraved by him still exists. Enzola is also the artist to 
whom the two earliest struck medals (of Pietro de Rossi and 
his wife, 1457) can be assigned ; the author of the medal of 
Lodovico Gonzaga, which appeared between 1433 and 1444, 
is unknown. 

Clemens Urbinas signs his name as the artist on the medal 
(dated 1468) of Federigo da Montefeltre (PI. XX., 2), the wise 
and high-minded ruler of Urbino, that tiny model state in the 
midst of the tyrannies of the Marches, which prolonged their 
existence from day to day by outrages and violent deeds of 

H 97 



Italian Medals 



the worst description. Neither from any other work, nor 
from documentary evidence, has any information concerning 
our artist been preserved ; his somewhat dry work gives, not 
perhaps artistically the most important, but apparently the 
most faithful portrait of the prince. 

The same ruler also appears on a medal of only half the 
size made twenty years earlier by a master Paulus de Ragusio 
(Ragusa) (PI. XX., 4). Not only the youthful aspect of the 
prince (born in 1422), but also the inscription on the reverse, 
which designates him as the commander of the Neapolitan 
army, a dignity that was only granted to Federigo in 1450, 
fixes its date, roughly speaking, in this year. It cannot there- 
fore belong to 1474, as Friedlander has it, explaining the 
ermine on the reverse as symbolical of the Order of the Ermine 
of Aragon with which Federigo was invested in 1474, whereas, 
in fact, it merely represents one of the many imprese of the 
Duke.* Entirely corresponding in size, style and inscription 

' This date of 1450 is supported by the circumstance that our medal does not represent 
the Duke — as all subsequent medals do — with the bridge of his nose broken. The tourna- 
ment in which he suffered this injury, as well as the loss of his right eye, took place at the 
fete given at Urbino in 1450 to celebrate the elevation of Francesco Sforza to the Dukedom 
of Milan (see Dennistoun, Memoirs of the Dukes of Urbino, London, 1851, vol. i. p. 95). 

98 



Plate XX 




The Medallists of Venicet etc* 



to the former, and therefore belonging to the same period, is 
the second signed medal of our artist, representing Alfonso, 
King of Naples (PI. XX., 3). It is not therefore a restoration, 
as Friedlander in accordance with the opinion expressed 
above was forced to assume, but taken from life. Like it, 
therefore, the medal of Montefeltre must have been produced 
at Naples. Although not works of distinguished merit, both 
are nevertheless pleasing achievements of a very able artist, 
and at all events show greater animation than the more pre- 
tentious piece of Clement of Urbino. 



99 



IV 

THE FLORENTINE MEDALS 



IV 



THE FLORENTINE MEDALS 

N none of the many centres of art in Italy, Venice 
herself not excepted, did the medal develop to such 
a height as in Florence. The work of one single 
master (the most productive of all, it is true), Pastorino de' 
Pastorini, with his nearly two hundred pieces, exceeds by a 
considerable number the entire series of both signed and 
anonymous medals of Venice. If in Northern Italy the 
conditions were, as we have seen, more advantageous than 
elsewhere to the rise of the new branch of art, yet in the 
second half of the Quattrocento the banks of the Arno had 
produced a culture so rich and luxuriant in every department 
of human activity, that no soil more favourable for its exten- 
sion could have been desired. The Florentine was not satisfied 
with the glorification of the ruler and his family, or perhaps of 

some of his favourites and chosen associates. The statesman 

103 




Italian Medals 



as well as the wealthy merchant, the scholar like the poet and 
the artist, the ascetic monk as well as the beautiful woman, 
the youth of noble family while still almost a boy, as well as 
the lovely maiden, the heroic^soldier, and even the adventurer, 
claimed and received their share of posthumous fame in the 
medal as in other forms. 

Unfortunately the masters in Florence, more commonly 
even than other medallistsj in general, left their works un- 
signed. The information also, collected by the well-known 
historiographer of the Florentine artists, concerning their pro- 
ductions is scanty, and, moreover, little to be depended on. 
Thus, apart from the signed pieces, no other means of ascer- 
taining the authors of the other medals remains than partly to 
give a more liberal play to conjecture, partly to arrange par- 
ticular groups according to certain accidental superficialities, 
which allow us to conclude that such and such works may be 
by the same master. Yet, after all, a long list remains to be 
placed under the head of anonymous works. 

All Florentine medals, however, be their creators known 

or not, display a common character, such as is peculiar to the 

productions of Florence in every province of art ; it lies in the 

104 



Florentine Medals 



strong and profound grasp of nature and in the life-like 
rendering of it in the portrait ; in the monumental accentua- 
tion of the essential and the subordination of all details. The 
portrait invariably remains the chief feature ; much less care is 
devoted to the reverses. These display for the most part 
single figures of unpretentious design and coarse execution, 
usually without any special connection with the person de- 
picted, on which account they are frequently repeated. The 
relief is high, the modelling executed only on broad lines, the 
chasing generally omitted. Some isolated pieces form excep- 
tions both in character and treatment. **We see that the 
artists are intelligent and experienced, working easily and 
rapidly, as to order. In keeping with this is the fact that 
numerous large medallions were exactly reproduced on a small 
scale " (Friedlander). 

The earliest of the Florentine medals is probably that on 
which the architect and sculptor Antonio Averulino, called 
Filarete {circa 1400- 1460), has given us his own portrait (PI. 
XX., 5). That he is its creator is evident from the entirely 
similar stylistic conception and execution of the portrait on 
the bronze door of St. Peter's in Rome, his authenticated work 

105 



Italian Medals 



(finished in 1445). The representation and inscription on the 
reverse, however, in which he extols the kindness shown him 
by his prince, allow us to fix the date of its appearance. 
From the end of 145 1 until 1454 Averulino was in the service 
of Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, and was occupied in 
building the fortress and cathedral there ; from 1457 until 
1465 he was engaged in the construction of the hospital, and 
repeatedly received marks of distinction from the Duke. 
Our medal must therefore have been produced in the early 
fifties. Neither in conception nor in composition is it a great 
work of art, more especially when we consider that its creator 
must have beheld the grand examples of Vittore Pisano in 
Milan. Nevertheless, in the half-innocent, half-wily ex- 
pression of the profile, the character of the strange creature 
that FilareLe remained all his life is excellently depicted. 
Among other things he engraved, as it were his signature, on 
the doors of St. Peter's the words, "My assistants may boast 
of the work — I am glad that it is done." 

Artistically much more important is the figure who next 
meets us, Andrea Guazzalotti (1435-1495). Belonging to one 

of the most respected families of Prato and educated for a 

106 



Florentine Medals 



clerical career, he lived as scriptor at the papal Curia until 
1467, and then retired to a canonry belonging to the cathedral 
of his native city. He carried his practice of the art of the 
medallist far beyond the achievement of a mere amateur ; 
indeed in Prato he had a foundry where he also cast the 
works of other medallists, and executed other works in bronze. 
This is attested by the considerable number of medals from 
his hand which we possess — ten undoubted (of which four are 
signed) and four which are attributed to him, though not with 
entire certainty. The earliest is that of Nicholas V., which, 
according to the inscription, was not cast until after the death 
of the Pope (March 24th, 1455). It is at the same time the 
oldest not restored papal medal — characteristic, but very 
coarse, especially in the reverse. Now, however, it is only 
extant in a single bronze example in addition to some lead 
casts in the Library of S. Mark's in Venice.^ On the other 
hand, the medals of Nicholas's two immediate successors, 
Calixtus III. and Pius II., were made during their lifetime; 
the latter is dated 1460, and is certified as the work of 

' [The British Museum possesses a bronze specimen (Keary, Guide to Italian Medals, 
p. 79, No. 306).— G. F. H.] 

107 



Italian Medals 



Guazzalotti by some verses of one of the Court poets of the 
far-travelled humanist Pope (PI. XXI., i). Here the head is 
already much more intelligently conceived ; the pelican on 
the reverse, however, is directly copied from a medal of 
Pisano's. In artistic value the medal of Pius is surpassed by 
that made two decades later of his second successor. Pope 
Sixtus IV. (PI. XXL, 2). Of Paul II., his immediate suc- 
cessor, none seems to have been cast by our artist. And 
indeed both in the portrait, which is not only modelled in a 
masterly way like that of Pius, but is also for once chased 
throughout with the greatest care, and especially in the 
composition of the reverse, the medal of Sixtus is probably 
the greatest success that our good Canon ever achieved ; the 
nude figure of Constantia (Steadfastness), leaning on a column 
(the symbol of strength), gazes at the prisoners, weapons and 
galleys lying at her feet. These attributes, as also the date 
1481, show us that the medal was cast to commemorate the 
expulsion of the Turks from Otranto on August i6th of that 
year. The same occasion gave rise to three other medals — 
differing only in the reverses — of the leader of the united 

Neapolitan and papal armies, Alfonso of Calabria, son of 

108 



A 



Florentine Medals 



Ferdinand I., King of Naples (PI. XXL, 3). If, on the 
obverse, our artist has here succeeded in the difficult task of 
depicting a three-quarters bust (we may compare his work 
with Sperandio's Sforza medal, PI. XVII., 5), his achievement 
on the reverse, illustrating the entry of the Duke into the 
reconquered city, is more or less of a failure. For the 
pictorial, overcrowded composition runs directly counter to 
the laws of relief, more especially in their application to the 
medal. 

In the fourth medal, cast to commemorate the victory of 

Alfonso over the Florentines at Poggio Imperiale in 1479, 

which shows his likeness in profile, we are unable — in spite of 

the authority of Armand, Friedlander, and Heiss — to perceive 

the hand of Guazzalotti (PI. XXI., 4). Compare with the style 

of the master the far weaker, almost indistinct, modelling, the 

vague, free treatment of the hair, the entirely characteristic 

composition and execution of the relief on the reverse (the 

sacrifice of a bull in the presence of a nude figure and another 

in armour) ; nay, take into consideration even the form of the 

letters in the inscription, so different from his. We are much 

more inclined to recognise in the piece a work of Bertoldo di 

log 



Italian Medals 



Giovanni (circa 1420-1491), the well-known pupil of Donat- 
ello, the intimate friend of the Medici, the keeper of their 
museum of antiquities in the Garden of San Marco, and as 
such the earliest teacher of Michael Angelo. Several bronze 
statues by the master are preserved in Florence, Modena, 
Vienna, and Berlin. Strangely enough, he invariably left the 
casting of his works to others, more particularly to his pupil — 
to be mentioned later — Adriano Fiorentino. A letter of Guaz- 
zalotti to Lorenzo de' Medici, of the year 1478, accompanying 
four medals which he had cast for Bertoldo, also bears witness 
to this fact. We are only acquainted with one medal signed 
by our artist — that of Mohammed II., not taken from life, but 
executed from the portrait modelled by Gentile Bellini in 1480, 
and therefore a striking likeness (PI. XXI., 5). The reverse, 
depicting the Sultan with the provinces he had subjugated in 
the form of three nude female figures in chains on a triumphal 
car, and conceived entirely in the taste of the antique, allows us, 
in virtue of the closest similarity of invention, style, modelling, 
and treatment of the relief, to ascribe to Bertoldo with com- 
plete certainty two other reverses : that of the medallion of 

Letizia Sanuto with the triumph of Pudicitia, and one which 

1 10 



Plate XXI 




5 

GUAZZALOTTI, BERTOLDO 

Face p. jio 



Florentine Medals 



exists only as a plaque — the obverse belong-ing to it not 
having- been preserved — likewise a triumphal procession repre- 
senting- rejected Love. 

These few pieces are by no means sufficient to justify the 
judgment pronounced by one of his contemporaries, that 
Bertoldo was *'di medaglie optimo fabricatore, il quale sempre 
col magnifico Lorenzo (Medici) faceva cose degne." Praise 
such as this presupposes a much greater productiveness as 
medallist, which, especially in the objective interest of his 
works, must necessarily have appealed to wider circles. And, 
as a matter of fact, the quick eye, wide knowledge, and pene- 
trating perception of W. Bode have lately discovered the solution 
of the problem. On entirely convincing grounds, based on one 
side on formal and stylistic resemblances, on the other on the 
combination and interpretation of traditional and documentary 
data (such as the letter of Guazzalotti mentioned above), ^ Bode 

^ I am prevented by want of space from entering more fully into the question. For 
further particulars I refer my readers to Bode's most comprehensive study of Bertoldo di 
Giovaimi und seine Bronzebildwerke in the Jahrhuch der K, Preuss. Kunstsammlungen, 
1895, parts iii.-and iv., lately printed in an extended form in his Florentiner Bildhauer der 
Retiaissance (Berlin, 1902, pp. 296 fF.). To my great satisfaction, I discover in reading the 
above-quoted work, which only came into my hands after my manuscript was written, that 
Bode fully agrees with me in ascribing the medal of Alfonso of Calabria to Bertoldo 
(lac. cit., p. 305). 

Ill 



Italian Medals 



has demonstrated that not Antonio Pollaiuolo — as, on the 
strength of Vasari's superficial statements, has hitherto been 
assumed — but Bertoldo was the creator of the well-known 
medals commemorating the Pazzi conspiracy of 1478, to which 
Giuliano Medici fell a victim. And not of these alone, but of 
the medal of Filippo de' Medici, Archbishop of Pisa (who died 
1478) ; of a reverse which is only known to us in its hybrid 
association with the portrait of Antonio Graziadei,^ the imperial 
orator at the Papal Court ; and lastly, perhaps, of a medal of 
Frederick III., of the year 1469, the reverse of which depicts 
the Emperor with his retinue of horsemen crossing the Bridge 
of S. Angelo. Both sides of the Pazzi medal (PI. XXII., i) 
give the octagonal choir of the Cathedral of Florence with the 
priests celebrating High Mass, and in front the attack of the 
conspirators on Lorenzo and Giuliano Medici respectively, 
while above are the busts of the two brothers. In that of 
Giuliano the likeness in conception and bearing to the portrait 
painted by Botticelli in the Berlin Gallery is obvious, even 

' That the obverse is not due to Bertoldo is evident from the facts that Graziadei was 
only invested with the dignity 1481-1483 — therefore at a time when our master was living in 
advanced years at Florence — and that no information concerning any sojourn of his in Rome 
has come down to us. 

112 



Florentine Medals 



although the intellectual animation of the painting is not 

attained. From the reproduction the reader may perceive how 

near in style and treatment of relief the medal stands to the 

authenticated reverses of Bertoldo. Only in the Pazzi medal 

everything is represented on a miniature scale. We may, 

however, observe the great similarity in form and attitude of 

the figures in the foreground to those on the reverse of the 

Alfonso medal which we have attributed above to Bertoldo. 

Similar, too, is its relation to the Last Judgment on the 

reverse of the medallion of Filippo Medici, as also to the 

triumphal procession of Mercury and the Nine Muses on the 

Graziadei medal. Finally, Bode lays stress, and with justice, 

on the fact that the similarity of form, distribution, and 

arrangement of the inscriptions in all these pieces (and, we 

may add, in the fourth medal of Alfonso also), on the one 

hand, and on the other on the medal of Mohammed, as well 

as some isolated and uncommon forms of the letters which we 

meet with in both, point to the same master as the creator of 

the entire series. 

Henceforward we are no longer to regard Antonio Pol- 

laiuolo as the author of the above two medals hitherto 
I 113 



Italian Medals 



assigned to him. And as we have also decisively to deprive 
him of a third, ascribed to him by the French authorities — 
with, it is true, a certain reserve — we must strike out his 
name altogether from the list of Florentine medallists. This 
is the medal of Innocent VIII. with the figures of three 
virtues on the reverse (PI. XXII., 2). The only and very 
contestable ground for ascribing it to Pollaiuolo lies in the 
circumstance that on opening, in 1606, the sarcophagus of 
this pope, cast by him, an example of the medal was found 
inside. But the style of the work had absolutely nothing 
in common with the pregnant style of the bronze sculptures 
of the Florentine master, and Friedlander was even inclined 
to ascribe them to Francia, his very antipodes in style. We 
cannot agree in this ascription — especially^^on consideration 
of the treatment of the reverse — but are as little in a position 
to ascribe the beautiful work to any other of the Florentine 
medallists. For that the artist must be sought for among the 
ranks of the Florentines seems to us at least to be firmly 
established. 

But still more ! On yet another Florentine celebrity must 

we carry out the like sentence of execution. Vasari speaks — 

H4 



Florentine Medals 



not in the biography of the master, but elsewhere incidentally 
—of Michelozzo, the celebrated Director of Works at the 
Court of the Medici and sculptor in bronze and marble, as 
the author of a medal, no longer extant, of Sante Bentivoglio 
of the year 1445. Three pages further on (vol. viii. p. 99), 
however, where he enumerates the works done by the artist for 
Cosimo Medici, he mentions no medal of the latter among 
them, although had a work of the kind been forthcoming the 
passage would have demanded its notice. Nevertheless, on 
the strength of Vasari's vague statements, and in considera- 
tion of the close relations that existed between Michelozzo 
and Cosimo the Elder, it is believed that the medal of 
Cosimo, which has come down to us in four slightly different 
variants, is to be attributed to him. The attribution dates 
back to the Weimar dilettanti, who ascribed the fourth variant 
to Michelozzo, while for the first (which, being artistically the 
most important, we reproduce in PI. XXII., 3), they actually 
adduce the name of Donatello. From them it would appear 
Armand and Heiss inherited the attribution (which they ex- 
tend to all the four replicas), while Friedlander explains them 
as works of Niccolo Fiorentino, of whom we shall speak 

"5 



Italian Medals 



later. In any case, this view has more probability in its 
favour than that of the French savants. The delicate in- 
dividualisation in the portrait does not correspond to the rude 
provincial manner of Michelozzo, nor even does the Florentia 
on the reverse reveal anything of the conspicuous manner in 
which in his statues he strove to imitate the antique ; but apart 
from this the latter theory is opposed by chronological con- 
siderations. Since Cosimo died on August ist, 1464, and 
only received the title P(ater) P(atriae) accorded him on 
the medal after his death, i.e. on March i6th, 1465 
(Friedlander incorrectly gives March i6th, 1464), it follows 
that the medal cannot have been produced previous to this 
date. On the other hand, the accurate reproduction of it 
in a miniature in the title of a Codex of the Laurentiana, 
dedicated to Piero Medici, shows that it must have existed 
as early as 1469, the year of Piero's death. We know, 
however, that Michelozzo was absent in Milan, Ragusa, and 
Schio from 1462 onwards, and it appears improbable that 
even had they waited until the return of the master (in 1466 
at the earliest) the Medici would have entrusted the commis- 
sion to a man of seventy, when Florence already possessed 

116 



Plate XXI 




BERTOLDO, ANONYMOUS FLORENTINES 

/■""<■/■ /). 1 16 



Florentine Medals 



a series of approved medallists (see below). ^ As regards the 
medal itself, however, we cannot better characterise its artistic 
value than in Goethe's words: "The work is quite extra- 
ordinarily masterly and bold ; at the first glance, it is true, 
the portrait seems sketchy and hastily designed ; on closer 
inspection, however, it is wonderfully ingenious, full of mean- 
ing, and complete in every part." 

The circumstance that the miniature just mentioned, as well 
as a second work by the same author and written by the same 
hand, also reproduces two medals of the two sons of Cosimo 
the Elder, Piero and Giovanni, of which some examples are 
preserved (PI. XXII., 4), gives us occasion to say a few 
words on the subject. The inscription, *'P(atris) P(atriae) 
F(ilius)," which appears on both, shows that they were cast 
after the death of Cosimo, and that therefore the medal of 
Giovanni, who died a year before his father, was not modelled 
from life. Both were probably produced, as also was that of 
Cosimo, at the instance of Piero Medici, between 1465 and 
1469. On the evidence of a letter addressed in June, 147 1, 

^ This view of ours, the grounds for which we have already stated elsewhere (see 
Repertorium fur Kunst-wissenschaft, vol. xxiv. p. 313), is also shared by Bode (compare the 
above-quoted work, p. 298). 

117 



Italian Medals 



to Lorenzo de' Medici by the goldsmith and medallist, 
Lodovico da Foligno, who worked in Ferrara from 145 1 
onwards, Armand and, after him, Heiss believe that it is to 
be ascribed to the writer. To us the letter seems to prove 
exactly the contrary. Although it accompanied the con- 
signment of a medal of the Duchess Bona of Milan, and 
thereby, almost as a matter of course, invited him to mention 
the medals of Lorenzo's father and uncle, had such been 
already executed by Lodovico, the master therein speaks only 
"of the love which he had always cherished for his Magni- 
ficence the noble lord Piero de Cosimo," as also of his urgent 
wish to see Lorenzo (the expression can also be interpreted 
as "to become acquainted with," which would then show 
that Lodovico was not in Florence during the years 
1465- 1469). Unfortunately none of the artist's medals, 
attested by documents, of Galeazzo Maria Sforza^ and his 

^ Or have we before us one of these works in the large cast medal (diam. 5 cm.) dated 
1470, with the Sforza lion wearing a helmet on the reverse ? Friedlander has reproduced it 
in PI. XXXVI., among the coins and medals attributed by him to Caradosso. It is scarcely 
credible, however, that so important a work would have been entrusted to a youth only just 
eighteen (Caradosso was born at earliest in 1452, not as Friedlander has it, in 1445). 
Neither does it correspond in style to the struck medals accredited to Caradosso. We are 
only acquainted with examples of it in silver, and Lodovico says in his letter that he made 

118 



Florentine Medals 



wife Bona," of Lionello and Sigismondo d'Este, have been 
preserved, and a comparison is thus denied us. But in the 
severe realism, which neither palliates nor minimises in the 
slightest degree the ugliness of the person depicted, these 
seem to point to the medallic art of Florence rather than to 
that of Ferrara, which about this time was softer in its 
character. Were we to claim an author for them we 
should name as the most probable, even before the anonymous 
Florentines, Niccolo Fiorentino. 

With this master, probably called Niccolo di Forzore 
Spinelli (1430-1514), we are again on sure ground. He was 
sprung from an old family of goldsmiths — his father and 
grandfather had practised the art, while his great-uncle, 
Spinello Aretino, was the well-known Giottesque painter. 
The earliest of his five signed and dated medals, that of Silv. 
Duziari, Bishop of Chioggia (extant in a single cast at 
Vienna), was^ produced in 1485. Where he worked before 
his five-and-fiftieth year we do not know, unless he was 

it in silver. The date, which is about a year or two late, may be an error on the part of the 
artist, or — what is more probable — he may have made the wax model, which he mentions 
in his letter, a year"earlier in Milan and dated the medal from it. 

119 



Italian Medals 



identical with that Nicolas de Spinel who in 1468 was 

occupied as seal-engraver at the Court of Charles the Bold 

of Burgundy, and whose portrait we possess in a precious 

panel by the hand of Memling. Now a medal (a unique 

example in the Berlin Cabinet, PI. XXIII., 2) of Charles's 

natural brother, the so-called "great Bastard of Burgundy," 

exists, which from the age of the sitter must belong to this 

period, and in conception and workmanship is not unworthy to 

be classed with the authentic works of our artist. Among these, 

next to the medal of the sixteen years old Alfonso d'Este of the 

year 1492, the probably but little earlier medal of Lorenzo 

Medici (1448-1492) claims our especial interest in virtue of the 

personage depicted (PI. XXIII., i). It gives the compressed, 

ugly features of the great statesman and patron of art, a 

heritage of his family, with a fidelity that borders on brutality. 

The reverse shows Florentia personified with the lily in her 

hand under an olive tree, the symbol of peace ; apart from 

the fact that only defective casts exist, it excels neither in 

composition nor in workmanship. The artist seems to have 

been perfectly aware of his deficiency in the power of 

rendering of form, as he always readily employed for the 

120 



Plate XXIII 




I 



NICCOLb FIORENTINO, TANAGLI (?) 

Fnce p. 120 



Florentine Medals 



reverses of his medals the devices on the ancient coins and 
gems, the originals of which were in possession of the 
Medici — a striking proof of the immediate influence which 
their collections exercised on the development of Renaissance 
art. 

A second medal (PI. XXIII., 3) has preserved to us the 
portrait of Lorenzo as a youth. Added to where possible 
greater ugliness, his features have something unbridled about 
them ; the head is covered with a fantastic helmet. We 
know that in a tournament in 1469, given in honour of 
Lucrezia Donati, Lorenzo won a silver helmet surmounted 
by the figure of Mars as the prize of victory. Notwithstanding 
the fact that, owing to artistic reasons, the figure of Mars 
is omitted, Armand's supposition that it was cast to com- 
memorate the victory has much in its favour. It is strange, 
however, that its creator allowed the opportunity to escape 
him of specially indicating its connection with the tournament, 
instead of leaving the reverse without design. According 
to an attractive hypothesis of the writer mentioned above, 
if the pincers (tanaglia) in the lower section of our medal 

refer to the name of the medallist, he is to be looked for 

121 



Italian Medals 



among the ancestors of the Tanagli, a goldsmith's family 
which still exists in Florence. 

In addition to the five signed medals, research of the 
present day ascribes yet other twenty medals to our Niccolo ; 
nothing but similarity of style, however, forms the more or 
less sure foundation for this attribution. Among these 
medals two unique pieces in the Berlin Cabinet, representing 
Giuliano and Giovanni, the brother and son of Lorenzo 
de' Medici, chiefly arrest our attention. A comparison of 
the obverse of the first medal (PI. XXIV., i) with the two 
portraits of Giuliano, ascribed to Botticelli, in the galleries 
of Berlin and Bergamo, shows that, although Niccolo held 
much more closely to the life, he nevertheless understood 
the art of endowing his works with a more monumental 
quality. The Nemesis of the reverse, holding as attributes 
in her hands the bowl and bridle, is in complete harmony 
as regards both conception and workmanship with the 
Florentia of the Lorenzo medal, and is equally unsatis- 
factory. The avenging goddess evidently points to the 
violent end of Giuliano, and thus fixes the date of the 

production of the work soon after 1478. The inscription 

122 



Florentine Medals 



of the second medal (PI. XXIV., 2) calls Giovanni cardinal; 

it was, therefore, not produced until after 1492, since the 

news of his appointment made two years before was only 

published in this year. But as he no longer retains a youthful 

aspect, and the signs of obesity already show themselves in 

the bloated face, the medal must be placed shortly before 

1 5 13 (the year of his election to the Papacy), and is therefore 

to be classed among Niccolo's latest works. In consideration 

of the by no means careful execution of the nevertheless 

characteristic portrait, it has been denied that it is a work 

of Niccolo's at all, and attributed instead to one of his 

successors, the so-called "Hope" medallist. In our opinion 

this is a mistake. For we find the figure on the reverse, 

symbolical of Faith, similarly represented on Niccolo's medals 

of Niccolo Puccini and Bernardo Salviati — with the sole 

difference that in the latter as Charity instead of a cup she 

holds a cornucopiae, out of which rise the flames of Love ; 

and, moreover, it is exactly repeated on his medals of 

Bernardo Banducci and Cardinal Roverella (unless the latter 

be a later restoration). Further, all these figures possess 

much more of the robust, almost rough, character of Niccolo's 

123 



Italian Medals 



style than do those of the ''Hope" medallist, which is 
weaker in expression and somewhat mannered in the disposal 
of the drapery. 

Out of the long series of Florentine celebrities whom our 
master has immortalised, we mention as two of the most 
successful the medals of Lorenzo Tornabuoni (PI. XXIV., 5) 
and his young wife Giovanna Albizzi (PI. XXIV., 3). These 
two it was who, shortly after their marriage in i486, were 
glorified by Botticelli in the frescoes at the Villa Lemmi, near 
Florence (now in the Louvre). Judging from the youthful 
aspect of the married pair, their medals must have been 
produced about the same period. Our interest is still further 
roused by the tragic fate of both. Giovanna died after having 
given birth to her third child, and when barely thirty- 
one years old Lorenzo, with four of his associates, was 
beheaded in 1497 as a participator in the conspiracy for the 
restoration of the banished Medici to Florence. The reverse 
of his medal displays a barocco winged Mercury ; that of 
Giovanna — also in its modelling one of Niccolo's most 
beautiful creations — a copy of the group of the Three Graces, 

which now stands in the Library of the Cathedral of Siena, 

124 



Plate XXIV 




Face p. 124 



Florentine Medals 



and was probably excavated in the last quarter of the fifteenth 
century in Rome. The restorations on the medal of the 
arms — which are missing in the marble statue — correspond, 
curiously enough, even to the flowers in the hands of the 
goddess, with an ancient painting from Herculaneum ; it 
follows that Niccolo must here have employed as model a 
cameo in the Medicean collection, which had served the same 
purpose in the fresco of fifteen hundred years earlier. The 
same reverse is also borne by the medal of Pico della 
Mirandola, one of the most consummate of our artist's works 
(Plate XXIV., 4). Who does not recognise in this work the 
glorious ideal figure of this " Knight of the Intellect," beside 
whom we, on this side the Alps, mutatis mutandis^ can only 
perhaps place Ulrich von Hutten ? Who has not felt himself 
uplifted by Pico's far-seeing and entirely unprejudiced " Dis- 
course on the Dignity of Mankind," which Jacob Burckhardt 
justly calls one of the noblest legacies of this epoch of culture? 
Our medal was probably cast about 1490 (Pico died in 1494 at 
the age of thirty-one), and is apparently contemporary with 
that of Angelo Poliziano (1454-1494), the intimate friend of 
Lorenzo Medici and the tutor of his sons (PI. XXV., i). 

125 



1 



Italian Medals 



Equally unprepossessing in his ugly exterior and conspicuous 
whether as an acute interpreter of the classics, or as poet in 
the Greek, Latin, or Italian language, among the whole band 
of versifiers who sunned themselves in the splendour of the 
Medici, Poliziano was the only one who, besides Lorenzo 
himself, with justice and honour bore the name of Poet. 

We close the selection of our reproductions with the 
splendid medal of Giovanni Tornabuoni (PI. XXV., 2), the 
father of Lorenzo and uncle of the Magnifico, to whose love 
of art we also owe Ghirlandajo's frescoes in the choir of 
S. Maria Novella and Verrocchio's reliefs on the tomb of his 
wife (now in the Museo Nazionale in Florence). A smaller 
replica of our medal bears the date 1492. It embodies in the 
most admirable way the manner of its master, not only in 
the likeness, which is as characteristic as it is monumentally 
conceived, but in the reverse, with its vigorous drawing and 
high relief, but sketchy, almost rude, modelling. 

Apart from his own productions, Niccolo Fiorentino also 

exercised an important influence on the medallic art of the later 

Quattrocento in Florence. This is so clearly displayed in a 

great number of medals of this school, that in former days (and 

126 



Florentine Medals 



lately again by Bode) many have been actually ascribed to the 
master. Nevertheless, they differ from Niccolo's works in 
general in the finer, more detailed modelling, as well as in 
the freer conception and composition of the reverses, where 
the designs are not so directly derived from the model of 
antique gems.^ 

Since a thick veil of anonymity hides their creators from our 
eyes, the French specialists, with the aim of differentiating 
them where possible, have seized on the expedient of calling 
them after the designs which as a rule are repeated on the 
reverses of the pieces. Thus fifteen to twenty medals are 
claimed for the "Hope" Medallist already mentioned above 
(Heiss and Armand differ somewhat from one another in their 
attributions), and from this series we reproduce as the most 
pleasing that of Nonnina Strozzi, wife of the otherwise 
unknown Bernardo Barbigia (cast in 1489, PI. XXV., 3). A 
comparison with Niccolo's medals of Giovanna Albizzi and 
Giovanni Tornabuoni brings before us, better than words can 

* We leave out of present consideration the pieces of two medallists of the same name, 
of whom one, about the year 1494, practised his art at the Court of Charles VIII. of France, 
while the other worked at Lyons from 1494-1499. The formerly accepted opinion, which 
identified them with Niccoli di Forzore Spinelli, has lately been proved to be erroneous. 

127 



Italian Medals 



do, the difference between the two masters, which we have 
already attempted to describe. Quite excellent, however, is the 
expression of the personality in the portrait of Alessandro 
Pagagnotti (PI. XXVI., 2), a Florentine not otherwise known to 
us : here the particularisation in the modelling of the features is 
carried far beyond the general wont of the Florentine medallists. 

Not so near to Niccolo Fiorentino stands the Fortune " 
Medallist, each of whose eight medals displays on the reverse 
the nude figure of the Goddess of Fortune, an inflated sail in 
her hands, and borne by a dolphin through the waves. Ac- 
cording to the noteworthy conjecture of G. Milanesi, the 
letters " L. C. M." in the inscription round the reverse of the 
medal of Lorenzo Ciglia Mocchi (PI. XXVI., i) indicate that 
he was the artist of this and also of the seven remaining pieces. 
Unfortunately nothing further is known concerning him. His 
medals, however, betray a more mechanical capacity, not only 
by the lack of inspiration in the portrait, but also by the style 
of the figure on the reverse, which reminds us of an engraving. 

A much more important artistic personality is revealed by 

the six medals which bear the name of the ''Eagle" Medallist. 

Foremost among these is that of Filippo Strozzi (1426-1491), 

128 



Plate XXVI 




"HOPE, " "FORTUNE - AND "EAGLE" MEDALLISTS 

l-'iii e //. 128 



Florentine Medals 



the builder of the world-famous Palace in Florence (PI. XXVI., 
4). Since on this medal he has the aspect of a man of sixty, 
it follows that it cannot have been produced long before his 
death. We have already spoken in the Introduction of the 
model for it. We forbear to decide whether the resemblance 
between the treatment of the portrait, "with its old-fashioned 
austerity, and yet so extremely life-like expression," and 
the busts of Filippo in Berlin and the Louvre, as well as the 
circumstance that several years back some copies of it were 
discovered in the foundation walls of the Strozzi Palace, pro- 
vide sufficient grounds for ascribing it — as W. Bode has lately 
done — to Benedetto da Majano,^ the sculptor of the busts, and 
the supposed architect of the palace. The purely heraldic 
composition of the reverse is but little in harmony with the 
artistic proclivities of Benedetto ; and Vasari in his exhaustive 
biography never speaks of him as a medallist. The doubtful 
attribution is also contradicted by the medal, bearing precisely 
the same reverse (PI. XXVI., 3), of Count Giovanni Antonio 

' In a subsequent perusal of his latest book on the Florentiner Bildhauer der Renaissance, 
Berlin, 1902, we see that the author has retracted this opinion {Joe. cit., p. 298). True, he is 
equally little inclined to place works to the credit of the pseudonymous masters in question, 
and attributes them collectively to Niccol6. {Jahrb. d. Pr. Ktaistsamml. 1904, part i.] 



Italian Medals 



Guidi (1459-1501), a member of the Romagnoli branch of the 
powerful dynasty that ruled over the Casentino for upwards of 
five hundred years : for it represents the Count as a man of forty, 
therefore at a period some years later than Majano's death. 

To an artist belonging to the group of which we have 
just spoken — most probably the "Hope" Medallist — is to be 
ascribed the expressive, refined medal of Marsilio Ficino 
(1433-1499), one of the most distinguished and sympathetic 
figures of the learned world of the Quattrocento (PI. XXVII., 
i). The conspicuous role which he played as the favourite 
and inmate of the house of Cosimo the Elder (he super- 
intended the education of his son Lorenzo), as translator and 
commentator of Plato, and as head of the Platonic Academy 
which stood under the protection of the Medici, is too well 
known for us to enlarge upon it. 

For the medal of another Renaissance personage who was in 
her sphere scarcely less prominent, we may cite the name of 
an artist with some degree of probability. This is the inter- 
esting medal of Catarina Sforza-Riario (1457- 1509), the wife 
of the violent Count Girolamo Riario, nephew of Sixtus IV. 

and lord of Imola and Forli (PI. XXVII., 2). We know that 

130 



Florentine Medals 



the Florentine goldsmith Domenico Cennini (1452-1504) was 
in her service, and can scarcely be mistaken if with G. 
Milanesi we regard him as the artist not only of the medal in 
question, but also of a second medal of Catarina's youthful son 
Ottaviano. The title of Count of Forli and Imola bestowed 
on him in the inscription, as well as the widow's hood of the 
mother, fixes the appearance of the piece after the year 1488, 
when Girolamo fell under the daggers of conspirators ; not 
much after this date, however, since Ottaviano is depicted as a 
boy of about ten. To this date also points the reverse with 
the Goddess of Victory borne over the clouds by two winged 
horses (it clearly reveals the influence of Niccolo Fiorentino), 
as well as the proud inscription, "Glory follows on Victory," 
which evidently refers to the successful struggle of the heroic 
woman with the enemies who had risen against her on her 
husband's death. The simple, severe arrangement gives an 
unwonted charm to the regular profile, and stirs the curiosity 
of the beholder to know more of the life of this woman. 
Thanks to an excellent biography which has lately appeared, 
he can gratify his curiosity,^ and hear how Catarina, after 

^ p. Des. Pasolini, Caterina Sforsa, Roma, 1893, 3 vols., and, in abbreviated form, in 
German by M. von Salis-Marschlins, Bamberg-, 1895. [In English by P. Sylvester, 1898. — 
A. H.] 1. 1 



Italian Medals 



romantic adventures, entered into a third marriage, and as the 
wife of a Medici, became the ancestress of the grand-ducal 
line ; how Caesar Borgia deprived her of her supremacy in the 
Romagna, brought her in golden chains to Rome, and kept 
her a prisoner in S. Angelo until, at length released, she 
ended her changeful life within the walls of a Florentine 
nunnery. 

We shall look with, if possible, yet greater sympathy on 

the medals which bring before us the portrait of the gloomy 

prophet and unfortunate reformer, Girolamo Savonarola. 

They are known in ten types, which, however, are all derived 

from two models. Though the fanatical opponent of the 

Medici only permitted art to exist merely in the service of 

religion, yet the self-denial of the ascetic zealot does not seem 

to have gone so far as to refuse the request of his friends and 

adherents that he would allow his person to be immortalised 

by its means. Eight of the types of his medals are, on 

Vasari's evidence, attributed to one of the two sons of Andrea 

della Robbia, who as Frati Ambrogio and Luca were 

brethren of Savonarola in the convent and his zealous 

adherents, and as such had the most favourable opportunities 

132 



Florentine Medals 



of making- models for the casting of his medals. With slight 
deviations they all reproduce his well-known features with 
rare fidelity : his deep-set glowing eye, his bony cheeks, the 
strong nose and protruding lips. Most directly, perhaps, are 
they expressed in the large medal (PI. XXVII., 3) of the 
British Museum and the Berlin Cabinet, the only one in which 
he holds the crucifix. The reverse displays, in an awkward 
composition, on a field divided by a vertical line, the avenging 
sword of God and the Holy Ghost hovering over the city 
of Florence — an allusion to the gloomy prophecies of the 
implacable censor of morals. 

Somewhat milder is the countenance in the type derived 
from the second model ; this model is to be found in the 
intaglio, preserved in the Uffizi, by Giovanni delle Corniuole 
(1470-15 16), the Florentine gem-engraver. The medal in 
question so perfectly corresponds to the intaglio — which Vasari 
has already praised to the skies as the artist's masterpiece — 
that we can have no hesitation in referring it to the wax 
model, which the artist must have taken from life before 
engraving the gem ; the more so because we know Giovanni 
also to have been a warm admirer of Savonarola, and because 

133 



Italian Medals 



a series of signed plaques proves that he worked in bronze. 
If these pieces already mentioned one and all appeared 
during the life of Savonarola, on the other hand a large 
bronze-gilt portrait (diam. locm.), a unique piece in W. Bode's 
collection (PI. XXVII., 4), is clearly shown, by the palm 
and lily and the cherub's head which supports the half-length 
figure, to be a glorification of the prophet produced after his 
death. The arrangement of the habit also, disposed in care- 
ful, measured folds, and the weaker, more sentimental 
expression, indicate the Cinquecento. We cannot, therefore, 
agree in the opinion of the owner, who sees in the master- 
piece the hand of Sperandio, since in him we miss above all 
that feeling for the purely formal, almost conventionalised, 
beauty that shows itself so conspicuously in the medal in 
question. We hold it rather to be the work of a Florentine 
of the time and school of Fra Bartolommeo, but at the same 
time a memorable ''monument erected by a warm admirer of 
the unhappily martyred apostle, even after his condemnation 
and death, and as such a witness to the independence of 
thought at the period " (Bode). 

We may here most fitly place an artist whom it has only 

134 



Florentine Medals 



quite lately been our good fortune to prove a medallist. 
Hitherto the member of the Florentine family of de' Maestri, 
who signed himself Adriano Fiorentino and died in 1499, was 
only known to the history of art as the pupil of Bertoldo, who 
employed him in casting his sculptures, and also independently 
as a sculptor in bronze. Among other works, the bust signed 
and dated 1498 of the Elector Frederick the Wise, which at 
the beginning of the last century was brought from the Castle 
of Torgau to Dresden and is now preserved in the Albertinum, 
is due to him.^ It led us to recognise in Adriano the author 
of a medal (PI. XXVII., 5) of Degenhart Pfeffinger (147 1- 
1519), hitherto known only in two examples, one in the Gotha 
Cabinet of Coins, the other in the possession of Privy- 
Councillor Jul. Erbstein at Dresden. Pfeffinger belonged to 
a distinguished family, which was invested with the hereditary 
dignity of Provincial Marshal in Lower Bavaria ; while young 
he went to the Court of Frederick the Wise, with whom he 
stood in high favour, and in whose service he remained as his 
intimate adviser until his death. The medal, which bears the 

' For further particulars concerning the master, see an article published by me in vol. 
xxiv., part i., of the Jahrhuch der Kgl. Prevss. Kunstsammlungen. 



Italian Medals 



Pfeffinger arms on the reverse, is neither signed nor dated. 
But not only does the age of the sitter (who is represented as 
a man of about thirty) indicate that it belongs to the same 
time as the bust of the Elector, but — what is more important 
— the stylistic comparison of the two works, above all the 
entirely peculiar treatment of the hair, falling in lank locks 
ending in curls, and, finally, also the adoption in both of the 
same material (yellow gun-metal, a material most uncommon 
in Italy), prove beyond doubt that the two works are due to 
the same master. Our medal, indeed, as far as conception and 
freedom of treatment are concerned, cannot compare with its 
Florentine sisters ; nevertheless, it reproduces the characteristic 
features vividly and with evident fidelity, and is of interest as 
the only medal of the Quattrocento made by an Italian artist 
on this side of the Alps. 

Discoveries in archives have further revealed Adriano's 
presence at the Court of Ferdinand I. at Naples in the year 
1493. Among the few medals of the royal house that ap- 
peared at this time is one of the Crown Prince Ferdinand, 
afterwards the second king of the name, which in the treat- 
ment of the hair, the stiff poise of the head, the sharp line 

136 



Plate XXVII 




5 

ANONYMOUS FLORENTINES, ADRIANO FIORENTINO 

Face p. 136 



4 

Florentine Medals 

from chin to throat, and the peculiar truncation of the bust, 
shows many points of resemblance to the Pfeffinger medal, 
even although it is blunter in the modelling. The double "V" 
or "W" on the edge of the hat (also repeated in the field of the 
reverse) caused it to be attributed to a "Medallist W." But, 
as the position of the mark on the hat shows, the letter more 
probably indicates some device of the prince, and consequently 
does not contradict the possibility that in our medal we may 
have before us a second work of this kind from Adriano's 
hand. In this case we must, however, credit him with two 
other medals. Of these one is the largest of three (diam. 
85 mm.) which we possess of Gioviano Pontano, the celebrated 
humanist and private secretary of King Ferdinand I. For the 
Urania of its reverse, with the graceful little plant at her feet, 
undoubtedly belongs to the same hand that produced the 
seated figure of Abundance on the reverse of the medal already 
mentioned. Next comes the later of the two known medals 
of Cardinal Raflfaello Riario (after 1483 ; the earlier, of 1478, is 
a work of the Roman medallist Lysippus) ; for the figure on the 
reverse, a Liberalitas, must belong to the artist of the figure 
on the medal of Prince Ferdinand. Finally, Adriano is shown 

137 



-•r 

Italian Medals 



by documentary evidence to have made the two medals of 
Elisabetta Montefeltre, Duchess of Urbino (PI. XXVIII., i), 
and of her sister-in-law, Emilia Pio. These were produced in 
the year 1495, when, after the conquest of Naples by Charles 
VIII., the artist's way led him first to Urbino and thence 
across the Alps to Germany.^ 

We close the series of Florentine medals of the Quattrocento 
by citing some pieces of wholly anonymous masters, which in 
virtue of the personages depicted merit our interest in the highest 
degree. The first (PI. XXVIII., 3) shows the profile, brutal 
but full of character, and modelled by a master hand, of Fran- 
cesco Lancilotti (born 1472), a painter known to us not by the 
productions of his brush, but only by a treatise written in 
verse in praise of his art. Faithless to the saying to which he 
gives utterance in a passage in this treatise in honour of his 
native city — " Virtu lascia chi lascia Fiorenza " — he spent a 
great part of his life in restless wanderings through Italy, 
Spain, and North Africa, perhaps as a mercenary, since on 

^ Further particulars concerning this piece, which has hitherto been included among 
those of anonymous masters, may be found in the article by the author already quoted. 
[The medal of the poet Agosto Graziani da Udine, with Urania on the reverse, may also on 
grounds of style be assigned to Adriano. — G. F. H,] 



Florentine Medals 



the reverse he has depicted himself in full armour on horse- 
back. 

The next piece (PI. XXVIII., 2) gives the portrait of 
Lorenzo de' Medici (1460-1503), called II Popolano, from the 
circumstance that after the expulsion of his family in 1495, 
severing himself from them, he took the side of the populace. 
The collateral branch to which he belonged (that from which 
sprang the line of Grand-Dukes) signalised itself by its patron- 
age of art. It was for Lorenzo's father, Pierfrancesco, that 
Botticelli made his drawings for Dante ; for Lorenzo himself 
that the young Michael Angelo carved a Giovannino, and at 
Lorenzo's suggestion that he modelled the little sleeping 
Cupid in imitation of the antique, which in our own days has 
been rediscovered in the Museum of Turin. The two Medici 
also, on whom the chisel of the great master in his riper years 
bestowed immortality in the sacristy of S. Lorenzo, meet us 
again in two medals. That of Giuliano (1478-1516), the son 
of Lorenzo the Magnificent, does not allow us to guess at its 
authorship (PI. XXVIII., 4); on the other hand, for that of 
Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino (nephew of Giuliano, 1492-1519), 
Francesco da Sangallo, whom we shall meet with later, has, 

139 



Italian Medals 



and not entirely without justification, been made responsible 
(PI. XXVIII., 5). A comparison of both medals with the 
statues of Michael Angelo shows, moreover, how little con- 
cerned the sculptor was with the matter of likeness in his 
portraits. And even the last member of the family, before 
the ducal hat and dominion over Tuscany were bestowed upon 
it, must not be omitted from our ranks ; this is Giovanni delle 
Bande Nere (1498-1526), the son of Catarina Sforza, and 
father of the Grand-Duke Cosimo I. He, the last of the 
condottieri of the ancient stamp, took his name from the band 
of horsemen clad in black armour at whose head he received 
his death wound, fighting against the imperial troops under 
Frundsberg before Mantua. The medal which we reproduce 
(PI. XXIX., i) is a restoration, not made apparently until 
twenty years after his death. If the portrait is dry and clumsy, 
the cavalry fight on the reverse is grandly conceived and full 
of life. It is evidently an allusion to the last heroic deed of 
the soldier who fell so young, and in whom perished an example 
of the forceful energy of the past, brave and valiant, but devoid 
of feeling for art or learning, and without comprehension of 
the requirements of the time. 

140 



Florentine Medals 



The works just brought before us have led across the 
threshold of the sixteenth century ; with the four last masters 
with whom we have still to deal we move on to the middle of 
the Cinquecento. Our reason for annexing them to the 
chapter on the Florentine medallists of the Quattrocento is 
based on the circumstance that in their works they held fast 
in part entirely, in part to an overwhelming degree to the 
good old traditions of the cast medal, allowing the struck 
medal to exist alongside merely as an exception — a relation 
which is completely reversed in the remaining masters of the 
Cinquecento. We may regard this precise point as one of the 
distinguishing characteristics of the two epochs. 

The earliest of these four masters is Domenico di Polo, 

de' Vetri (1480-1547), more celebrated as an engraver of gems 

than as a medallist. The Uffizi still preserves the intaglio of 

Hercules, which he engraved as a seal for Duke Alessandro 

Medici. He also did the portrait of the Duke in five medals, 

which mainly differ only in their reverses — that is, if the sign 

of the planet Mars, which they bear, is rightly regarded as 

indicating our artist. We reproduce one of them in Plate 

XXIX., 3. While the obverse is distinguished by excellent 

141 



Italian Medals 



individualisation, in the reverse, where Peace sets fire to a 

pile of weapons, Domenico follows in the closest manner the 

example of antique gems, reproducing their style not without 

grace, but with too great an accumulation of accessories. 

Exactly similar in character are eight medals of Alessandro's 

successor, Duke Cosimo I. 

Domenico is followed by Francesco da Sangallo (1494- 

1576), son of Giuliano, the founder of the dynasty of 

artists of his name, and celebrated as architect as well 

as sculptor. The sculptures of Francesco show nothing of 

the reserved conception, of the refined feeling of those of his 

father, who in the tombs of the Sassetti in S. Trinita has 

bequeathed to us two marble medallions of the giver of the 

commission, which in delicacy of execution might compete 

with medals. In his eight authentic medals and also in two 

others ascribed to him, Francesco is faithful to the same 

downright naturalistic manner, which thinks by violently 

obtruding itself to impose upon the beholder. The piece 

reproduced in Plate XXIX., 4, with the portraits of the artist 

and his wife, gives a characteristic example of his strong 

relief and of the anything but attractive conception peculiar 

142 



Plate XXIX 




Florentme Medals 



to him alone among all Florentine medallists. We give 
the medal — which is, however, merely ascribed to him — of 
Leo X. in Plate XXIX., 2, because comparatively speaking it is 
the best of this Pope, whose portrait must not be omitted from 
the Italian celebrities in our Temple of Fame. For it was this 
Epicurean on the Chair of Peter who evoked at his court the 
Golden Age for poets, literati, lute-players, and buffoons. 

If we place third on our list of masters Benvenuto Cellini 
(i 500-1 571), our readers will require no further information 
concerning this personality, since his autobiography has 
depicted it with as much verve as presumption. As artist 
the goldsmith Cellini is superior to the mannered bronze- 
sculptor and medallist. For even his medals, five of which 
are authenticated by the information he gives in his Life 
concerning them, while four others are merely attributed to 
him, suffer in the portraits, even when they are cast, from the 
dryness which is peculiar to the die-engraver, while the scenes 
on the reverses actually revolt us, partly by vacancy and poverty 
of artistic conception, partly by the appalling vulgarity, the 
utterly ignoble commonplaceness of the allegories. This is, for 
example, the case in one of his two medals of Clement VII., 

143 



Italian Medals 



one of the results of his work as Master of the Papal Mint 
in the years 1529-1533 (PI. XXX., i). It was struck to com- 
memorate the peace sealed between the Emperor and Pope, 
and this is symbolised by the figure of Discord chained to 
the Temple of Janus, and Peace, who with a torch sets fire 
to a pile of weapons and implements of war. The same 
obverse, with Moses striking water from the rock on the 
reverse, was repeated on the occasion of the erection by the 
Pope of the celebrated fountain at Orvieto. Better, however, 
is the cast medal of later date of Pietro Bembo (PI. 
XXX., 3), the well-known bel esprit among the cardinals of 
the Cinquecento, who could boast of having — in all honour 
— enjoyed the favour of Lucrezia Borgia when Duchess of 
Ferrara, and of Catarina Cornaro, the dethroned Queen of 
Cyprus. But here, also, how f)Oor, nay even how absurd, is 
the effect of the winged horse soaring towards heaven ! 
Involuntarily the beholder asks : What has become of the poet 
whom he ought to bear on high ? Has he been lost by the 
way ? Finally we must give prominence to the medal of 
Ercole II. of Este, which Cellini, according to his own 

statement, made in 1540 (PI. XXX., 4). It was believed to 

144 

sv 



Florentine Medals 



be lost, until an example, unfortunately without a reverse, 
came to light in the Goethe Museum at Weimar. We have 
therein an original cast from the wax model of the obverse, 
which, as is shown by the incompletely modelled armour in 
the centre of the bust, was not yet finished. Two almost 
imperceptible concentric circles mark the position for the 
inscription, which in our example (which has a thickness, 
entirely unusual in medals, of 14 cm.) was intended to be 
engraved. On the reverse, Cellini, as he himself informs us, 
placed the figure of Peace with the legend: " Pretiosa in 
conspectu Domini." 

Finally, the last of our four stragglers is one of the most 
important and productive medallists of the Cinquecento ; as 
such, not only in former days the privileged favourite of the 
distinguished and elegant society of his time, but also in our 
own placed by many lovers of this branch of art before other 
more excellent artists. Pastorino de' Pastorini (i 508-1 592), 
descended from a family of shoemakers in the neighbourhood 
of Siena, went in his early years to Arezzo as a pupil of 
Guillaume Marcillat, the celebrated French painter on glass, and 
while still a youth (from 1 531-1548) was frequently employed 



Italian Medals 



in this art in Siena and Rome. Not until much later did it 
occur to him to model portraits in wax, which he afterwards 
painted, and to try his hand also in casting medals and 
engraving dies. From 1552 onwards we find him at the mints 
of Parma, Reggio, Ferrara, and Novellara, until in 1576 he 
entered the service of the Grand-Duke Francesco of Tuscany 
as " maestro di stucchi " (stucco-worker). He never again left 
Florence during his lifetime. In the number of his medals, 
the dates of which lie between 1548 and 1578 (which does not, 
however, exclude the possibility that other undated medals 
may have been produced both earlier and later), he surpasses 
all other companions in his craft ; we are acquainted with 190 
pieces (of which about two dozen are merely attributed to 
him), and the number is constantly increased by others coming 
to light. The greater portion of them are signed with his 
initial, and almost all are devoid of reverses. He herein gives 
expression to a change, which had been introduced into the 
character and object of medals. The custom was abandoned 
of associating the portrait with the attributes or achievements 
in which the person depicted had outshone his contempo- 
raries, or with any act of his life that would have assured him 

146 



Florentine Medals 



the remembrance of after generations. Even without such 
qualifications men considered themselves worthy of being im- 
mortalised in bronze, and demanded from the medal nothing 
more than a portrait. The medal, in fulfilling this demand, 
now sacrificed the more dignified and monumental stylistic 
treatment, which we so often encounter in the masterpieces of 
the Quattrocento, to a more intimate portraiture of the indi- 
vidual. Not only does it reproduce the portrait in a version 
as close as possible to life, but it seeks by the most accurate 
fidelity in the details of dress and ornament to apprehend and 
bring out its connection with the world around. This char- 
acter, besides a highly developed feeling for grace, attractive- 
ness, and sensuous charm in the presentation of the likeness, 
as well as of taste in arrangement, impresses itself on the 
works of Pastorino and explains their popularity both in 
former and in present times. On the other hand, they almost 
entirely lack the depth of conception, the force, the feeling of 
throbbing vitality, which so thrill us in his predecessors. 
"What a portrait ! but, alas ! a portrait only," are we tempted 
to exclaim in the presence of his highest creations, which — 

and this is equally characteristic both of the period and of the 

147 



Italian Medals 



artist — for the most part celebrate female beauty in named 
and unnamed, known and unknown models. The few ex- 
amples which we have chosen from the works of the master 
may serve to elucidate and justify what we have said. 

The busts of the two great celebrities Ariosto and Titian 
(PI. XXX., 2, 9) belong to his best works, thanks to their 
unassuming simplicity and the absence of that affected pose 
which detracts from the impression conveyed by so many of 
Pastorino's male portraits. The softly defined head of Atalanta 
Donati (PI. XXX., 7), a Sienese poetess of the middle of the 
sixteenth century, shows how the artist occasionally allowed 
himself to be influenced by the example of antique gems. 
On the other hand, the matronly head of Girolama Orsini 
(PI. XXX., 6), wife of Pierluigi Farnese, the dissolute son of 
Paul III., and first Duke of Parma and Piacenza, with the 
picturesquely draped widow's veil over her head, has the 
appearance of an impression from the life ; and that of the 
otherwise unknown Beatrice da Siena (PI. XXX., 5) is entirely 
modern both in conception and costume. The last-named 
medal has, moreover, a reverse — utterly banal, it is true. In 

the gentle, innocent countenance of the youth (PI. XXXI., 3) 

148 



1 



Florentine Medals 



we can scarcely foresee the man who was to become the refined 
author of the formerly much admired Pastor Fido, Battista 
Guarini ; equally little, in Plate XXX., 8, do we recognise the 
splendour-loving Cardinal Ippolito of Este, the second of this 
name, who survives in the memory of posterity mainly as the 
patron of Tasso and the builder of the Villa d'Este at Tivoli. 
The two succeeding medals give the portraits of two dis- 
tinguished princely women. Plate XXXI., i, is that of Mar- 
garet of Parma, natural daughter of Charles V., who was 
married first to Alessandro Medici (the union scarcely lasted 
a year), and secondly to Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma. 
She became regent of the Netherlands in 1559, and is known 
from Goethe's Egmont. Plate XXXI., 2, is the portrait of 
Lucrezia Medici, daughter of the Grand-Duke Cosimo I. ; 
a victim to political schemes, she was married at the age of 
thirteen (as represented in our medal) to Alfonso II. of Este, 
and poisoned three years later, probably by her husband him- 
self. Lastly, we have the exceptionally fine profile (PI. XXXI., 
4), as intellectually animated as it is splendidly attired, of 
Alberto Lollio, the founder of the Accademia degli Elevati at 
Ferrara, the type of the distinguished scholar of the Cinque- 

149 



Italian Medals 



cento ; and the portraits of the two Gonzaga princesses — 
Margaret, sister of that Bonifazio of Montferrat whose medal 
by the hand of the painter Caroto we reproduced in Plate XIV., 
I, and wife of Federigo II., first Duke of Mantua; and 
Eleanora, daughter of the Emperor Ferdinand I., who, as wife 
of Guglielmo Gonzaga, was from 1561 the daughter-in-law of 
Margaret (PI. XXXI., 5 and 6). 



50 



Plate XXXI 




•I- p. 150 



V 

THE MEDALLISTS IN ROME 



V 



THE MEDALLISTS IN ROME 

URING the entire Renaissance the Eternal City 
never offered the fostering soil from which it was 
possible for great artistic individualities to arise. 
Were any work of importance to be produced, it was 
necessary to import the creative power from elsewhere. 
Thus no single one of the pictorial monuments in the grand 
style, and scarcely one of the pieces of sculpture which we 
now admire in the churches and palaces of Rome, is of native 
origin. And even the foreign masters of foremost rank, who 
were summoned thither, had no sooner finished their tasks 
than they hurried away. We must descend to the brilliant 
times of Julius II. to find a Bramante, a Raflfaello, or a 
Michael Angelo residing permanently in Rome. It was 
otherwise, it is true, with artists of inferior rank. They came 
and remained willingly, because in Rome the chief parts were 

153 




Italian Medals 



allotted to them, while had they continued in their native cities 
they would have been obliged to remain in the background. 

An exception was formed by the goldsmiths and jewellers. 
The luxury and splendour which, in accordance with old 
traditional custom, the Curia displayed in their productions, 
and the wealth of commissions which constantly accrued to 
them in consequence, induced the first masters of this branch 
of art, especially from Milan and Florence, to settle per- 
manently under the wings of the Vatican. In harmony with 
the close connection which we have everywhere observed 
between the art of the goldsmith and that of the medallist, 
we are naturally led to expect a brilliant development of 
medallic art in Rome. But precisely the contrary is the case. 
Beyond the Curia and the circles immediately connected with 
it, nowhere did the art meet with such scant approval, 
nowhere with so little demand. The extensive families of 
the proud Roman nobility, the Colonna, Orsini, Savelli, and 
Gaetani, among others, showed it so little favour, that two 
dozen medals cover the total of the collection which they 
bequeathed to posterity. What a difference in comparison 
with Florence and Venice ! 

154 



The Medallists in Rome 



We are, therefore, able to mention only one medallist, 
who — though of foreign parentage — was at least born in 
Rome : Giancristoforo Romano. But he, too — as we have 
already seen — was almost invariably absent from his native 
city, and only one of his medals belongs to Rome. Whatever 
activity is to be found there in this department of art is 
limited to a few masters, who, with one exception, had all 
come from the North, having migrated from Lombardy when 
already finished artists. That a development of the art in 
Rome, as important as that displayed by Ferrara, Mantua, 
Venice, and Florence, was altogether out of the question, is 
accordingly self-evident. The medallists brought with them 
their already-developed style and continued to exercise it, 
unmoved by their surroundings, uninfluenced by the ''milieu " 
in which they lived and worked. 

The chief exception to this rule is provided by the earliest 
of them. This is Cristoforo di Geremia {circa 1430 until after 
1475), the scion of a Mantuan family of goldsmiths, and as 
a goldsmith himself experienced and esteemed. He must 
early have exchanged his ancestral city for Rome, for already 

155 



Italian Medals 



in 1456 he returned to Mantua for a time. From 1461 until 
1465 we jfind him in the Eternal City, ''dilecto fameglio " 
(as he is called by his patron in a letter) of the Cardinal 
Camerlengo Lodovico Scarampi, the efficient general of the 
papal army under Eugenius IV. and his successors. Cristo- 
foro even accompanied his patron to his summer quarters — in 
1 46 1 to Perugia, in 1462 to Florence. What more natural, 
therefore, than to suppose that he made the medal of the 
cardinal, the only one of Scarampi that we possess (PI. 
XXXII., i)? The assumption, in fact, is confirmed by the 
similarity that exists between this medal and Cristoforo's 
authenticated masterpiece — the medal of Alfonso I. of Naples, 
of which we are about to speak. It is only necessary to 
compare the strong profile of both pieces, their flat and yet 
so expressive modelling, the peculiar disposition of the hair in 
wedge-shaped strands, the form of lettering with the charac- 
teristic "G." The reverse of the Scarampi medal, with the 
antique triumphal procession and the fa9ade of the temple in 
the background, also points conclusively to Rome as its place 
of origin. Probably, too, we possess a still earlier work of 
Cristoforo, belonging to his first Roman period, in the 

156 



The Medallists in Rome 



frequently repeated medal of the year 1455, representing 
Cardinal Pietro Barbo, afterwards Pope Paul II. (Plate 
XXXII., 2). Some examples of it were discovered in Rome 
in 1857, during building alterations in the walls of the cellars 
of the palace begun by this pope in this same year, the 
so-called Palazzo di Venezia. 

But our artist produced his masterpiece in the signed 
medal of Alfonso I., which in style is one of the best and 
most valuable productions of the medallic art of the later 
Quattrocento. It is the more worthy of admiration from the 
fact that it was taken not from life, but modelled at least ten 
years after the death of the King (PI. XXXII., 3). 
Friedlander inferred this simply from its mature Mantegna- 
like style, but we believe ourselves able to furnish in addition 
a material proof of the fact. The cuirass of the King is 
throughout identically the same as that of Federigo da 
Montefeltre on his medal by Clemens Urbinas of the year 
1468 (see above, PI. XX., 2). The dignity of the sitter, 
however, forbids us to suppose that he would have allowed 
his portrait to be depicted clad in Alfonso's armour as it is 
given on Cristoforo's medal. On the other hand, the 

157 



Italian Medals 



assumption that Federigo may have acquired the armour as 
a gift which fell to him out of the property left by the 
King, is untenable from the circumstance that, on both the 
pieces in question, not the armour only, but also the drapery 
of the mantle thrown over it is identically alike. It appears, 
therefore, that as far as external arrangement is concerned 
Cristoforo followed the example set by the medal of Clemens 
Urbinas, and consequently did not execute his own until 
after 1468. The medal of Paolo de Ragusa (PI. XX., 3), 
however, evidently served him as the model for the portrait 
of Alfonso ; so strikingly do the profile, the arrangement of 
the hair, and the pinched-looking ear agree in both. 

That our master was conversant with the practice of 
"restitution," that he probably even took pleasure in it, is 
also shown by his second authenticated medal. It is that 
which bears the profile of the Emperor Augustus on the 
obverse and a representation of Concordia Augusta, after 
Roman coins, on the reverse ; after Roman coins also are 
pieced together the inscriptions (in part mistaken) on both 
sides — even to the S(enatus) C(onsulto) in the exergue of the 
reverse. Our piece is characteristic both of the attitude of the 

158 



I 



The Medallists in Rome 



Roman Renaissance to antiquity and of our master. We see 
how he allowed himself to be entirely ensnared by the great 
memories of the world in which he lived : for even the far 
superior and more delicately executed reverse of the Alfonso 
medal, with the figure of the King crowned by Mars and 
Bellona, is essentially nothing more than a pasticcio after the 
motives of ancient coins. These are all the works from the 
capable hand of Cristoforo that have come down to us, and 
equally scanty is our information concerning his fortunes 
during the later years of his life. On the death of his patron, 
Scarampi (1465), he entered the Papal service, and the fact 
that in 1468 the restoration of the equestrian statue of Marcus 
Aurelius was entrusted to him testifies to the esteem in which 
his powers were held. The statue at this time still stood on 
the piazza of the Lateran, where, through the entire Middle 
Ages, under the name of Caballo di Constantino, it had been 
accounted one of the typical monuments of Rome. 

Cristoforo must have died early in the reign of Paul II.'s 
successor, since not he but his nephew Lysippus received the 
commission to execute the new Pope's medal. So we are told 
by Raffael da Volterra, who wrote at the beginning of the 

159 



Italian Medals 



sixteenth century, and in whom as an eye-witness we must 
place behef. It is true that he says nothing more concerning 
this artist, who is mentioned by no authority, and to whom 
none of the medals of Sixtus IV. can be ascribed on any 
convincing grounds. Fortunately, however, two signed pieces 
of the master can be identified — one of Giulio Marasca, which 
exists, indeed, only in an engraving of the year 1610 ; the 
second, on the other hand, is a unique piece in the collection of 
Prosper Valton, the heir of Armand, in Paris. It is the medal 
of Marinus Philethicus, a poet and scholar, who was teaching 
in the University of Rome in 1473 (PI. XXXII., 4). The 
obverse displays the head of the scholar in profile wearing 
a laurel wreath ; on the reverse is a copy of the pelican of 
Pisano's medal of Vittorino, with the inscription in Greek, 
"The work of Lysippus the younger." By means of com- 
parison with these authenticated works, several others may be 
ascribed to him. Such is the medal, extant in six varieties, of 
Giovanni Luigi Toscani, some of which bear the signature 
L(ysippus) P(ictor) (PI. XXXII., 6); further, the medals of 
Giovanni Francesco Marasca, Antonio da Santamaria, Fran- 
cesco Massimo, Francesco Vitali, Parthenius (Ippolito Au- 

160 



Plate XXXII 




CRISTOFORO DI GEREMIA, LYSIPPUS 

J'''<ice J/, ibo 



The Medallists in Rome 



rispa), Pier Paolo Mellini, Militias Jesuallus.^ Besides the 
similarity of style and the partiality of their maker for Greek 
legends, they have all in common the circumstance that the 
personages depicted can be shown to have been abbreviators, 
tiditori di camera^ advocates and notaries to the Curia between 
1473 and 1484, and are all more or less youthful and similarly 
attired. And to Rome also point two medals representing 
Giovanni Candida, probably a pupil of Lysippus, with whom 
we shall presently meet. On the smaller, which is a unique 
piece in the Este Museum at Modena, he is still represented 
as a boy, but, judging from the dress, already a pupil at a 
clerical seminary. On the larger oval piece in the possession 
of G. Dreyfus, in Paris, he is depicted as a young cleric in the 
like costume (PI. XXXII., 5). Both pieces, especially the 
larger, in naivete of conception and softness of modelling, are 
among the pearls of Quattrocento medallic art. And if to the 
pieces already cited we add the medal of the year 1478 of the 
nephew of the Pope, Raffaello Riario, created a cardinal at the 
age of seventeen, with its reverse, excellent alike in composi- 



^ [The medal of Alfonso Morosini (Arm. III., 182 C) in the British Museum seems also 
to be by Lysippus. — G. F. H.] 

M 161 



Italian Medals 



tion and chasing (PI. XXXIII., i), representing St. George 
fighting the dragon (a play upon the titular of the cardinal, 
S. Giorgio in Velabro), we do it not only on the ground of 
similarity of style, but also in accordance with the evidence of 
Raffael of Volterra, which shows us the artist engaged in the 
service of Sixtus IV. In this case, however, we must also 
credit him with the medal of Catelano Casali, later Proto- 
notary of the same year, since its obverse appears occasionally 
coupled with that of the medal of Riario already cited, to say 
nothing of its similarity in style to the authenticated pieces of 
Lysippus. 

We now come to one of the most memorable masters of 

the medallic art, the only one whom the Eternal City did not 

receive from the North ; whom, on the contrary, she was 

obliged to surrender to it, and even to the other side of the 

Alps. Giovanni Candida (born before 1450, died after 1504), 

whom we have just mentioned, owed his origin to Naples, and 

was a member of the branch of the noble family of the Filangieri 

which still bears his name. As we have seen above, he came 

while quite a youth to Rome with the intention of devoting 

himself to the clerical career, and seems there to have been 

162 



The Medallists in Rome 



imbued by Lysippus with the love of art and to have received 
from him his first instruction in it. The only one of his 
medals which with entire security can be attributed to these 
early days in Rome is that of Antonio Graziadei (PI. XXXIII., 
2). Equally in style and arrangement it betrays the influence 
of Lysippus. Graziadei is here depicted as a young magister, 
before 1481, when he was appointed imperial orator (as he is 
designated on his later medal mentioned on p. 112). Subse- 
quently, as Abbreviator and confidential employe of the Papal 
Signet Office, he rose to high dignities. In any case, the 
medal appeared before 1475, since in this year we find Candida 
already secretary in the service of Charles the Bold of Bur- 
gundy, and, after his death in 1477, in that of his daughter 
Mary and her husband Maximilian, for whom in the same 
year, shortly after their marriage and later (1479 or 1482), he 
designed a second medal (PI. XXXIII., 3). He seems on 
one occasion temporarily to have incurred the displeasure of 
his patrons, for in 1479 he cast a medal of his jailer in the 
fortress of Lille, Jean Miette, whom he designates thereon 
as "Gustos Carcer(is) Candidae " (PI. XXXIII., 4). It was 

apparently this unpleasant experience that caused him on 

163 



Italian Medals 



regaining his liberty to enter the service of Maximilian's rival, 
Louis XI., King of France, in 1482 or 1483. Here his for- 
tunate star shone at length in full splendour. Not only did the 
artist in him ripen to full development, but his talents as states- 
man and diplomatist acquired him the entire favour of his 
young sovereign, Charles VIII., the successor of Louis XI. 
After having compiled for him a sketch of the history of 
France, he was appointed Royal Councillor, and in 1491 was 
sent to Rome as member of an embassy to settle various ques- 
tions between France and the Curia. Two years later he is 
again in Rome on a secret mission, and in 1494 he accom- 
panies the King on his Italian expedition, on which occasion 
he received the title of Apostolic Protonotary. At the same 
time he by no means neglected the exercise of his art. A 
number of the chief dignitaries of the State owe their im- 
mortalisation in effigy to him, among them Robert Bri§onnet, 
who in a letter of thanks for his two medals calls him Summus 
et orator et historicus ac sculptoriae artis atque plastices hac 
aetate omnium cofisummatissimus. During his passing sojourn 
in Rome he also seems to have set his spatula and crucible in 

activity; this is shown by the medals of the Uditore di Rota, 

164 



The Medallists in Rome 



Guillaume des Perriers — known as a Maecenas by the erection 
of several sculptured altars in the churches of the Eternal 
City — and by the double portrait of Giuliano della Rovere 
(afterwards Pope Julius II.) (PI. XXXIII., 7), and his brother 
Clement — that is, provided that these latter were not cast 
during some occasional sojourn of these personages in France 
(Giuliano is shown to have been there in the years 1494, 1496, 
and 1497). We have even five medals from Candida's hand 
belonging to the last years of his life, among them those of 
the later King Francis I., his mother, and his sister (dated 
1504). The first (PI. XXXIII., 5) is not only of importance 
as the earliest portrait of the prince, at this time ten years of 
age, but also on account of the reverse, the Salamander in 
flames, the well-known impresa of the King, which now 
appears for the first time, and was therefore probably designed 
by Candida. To the hitherto known creations of the artist we 
have to add as his latest work the medal of Giovanni Fran- 
cesco Rovere, Bishop of Turin and Prefect of the City of 
Rome. Since Rovere acquired this dignity in 1504, it follows 
that his medal, the inscription of which shows that he already 
possessed it, was cast at the earliest during the same year. 

165 



1 



Italian Medals 



Candida must have died soon afterwards, as we lack all further 
information concerning" him. 

If we now survey the eighteen authenticated pieces of our 
artist with regard to their style and value, it is evident that 
taken collectively they show a pronounced and well-defined 
artistic personality. At most the conception of character in 
the later medals is somewhat freer and more serious, and the 
modelling fuller. The artistic inheritance from Lysippus is 
perceptible in all, in the earlier naturally more than in the 
later. The earlier are, at the same time, marked by youthful 
grace and by a refined charm of treatment. The later are 
larger in dimension, more effective and more decorative in 
arrangement. An attractive naturalism is, however, common 
to all, combined with an unassuming sense of life, and a 
conscious simplicity that avoids all superfluous accessories. 
In keeping with this, the reverses — with the single exception 
of the piece last described — display merely arms, inscrip- 
tions or initials, except where they are used for a second 
portrait. In the modelling, emphasis is laid on the effect of 
the silhouette ; in order to accentuate it our master refrains 

from entering into details, and at times merely suggests such 

i66 



1 



The Medallists in Rome 



features as the hair and ears. Nay, especially in his later 

works, in the modelling of the eyes, which are relatively too 

small, and in the way in which he sets them deep in the 

socket under the heavy brows, he at times snaps his fingers 

at strict fidelity to nature. Where the casting of his medals 

has remained untouched, it is always very careful ; but, 

unfortunately, many casts have been completely ruined by 

subsequent chasing at the hands of others. 

Following him comes the more widely known and most 

celebrated of the Roman medallists : Cristoforo Foppa, 

surnamed Caradosso (after 1452-1527). During the first half 

of his creative period he belongs to his native Milan, where, 

as son of a celebrated goldsmith, he early obtained recognition 

by the excellence of his productions in this art, and numerous 

commissions from the splendour-loving Court of the Sforza. 

Of such works we have, unfortunately, inherited nothing but 

literary information at the hands of Vasari, Cellini, and 

Ambrogio Leone. On the other hand, we have some 

sculptures and plaques by Caradosso, as well as several 

coins, struck with the dies cut by our artist for Francesco 

Sforza as early as 1466, and subsequently for his three sue- 

167 



Italian Medals 



cessors ; finally, also, not only some small struck medals of 
Lodovico il Moro, but also the two larger cast medals of 
Francesco and Lodovico Sforza. The former (PI. XXXIII., 
8), as the entry of the prince into Milan in 1450 on the reverse 
testifies, did not appear until long afterwards, probably, 
indeed, not much before the second (PI. XXXIII., 6), which 
— as is evident from a scene depicted on the reverse — was cast 
to commemorate the entry of il Moro into Genoa in 1488. 
Here, as also in his later Roman works, the goldsmith does 
not belie his profession ; in contrast with the broad treatment 
of the earliest great masters of the medal, Caradosso carries 
his careful manipulation into the elaboration of the smallest 
details ; ''richness of composition, beauty of line, elegance of 
execution are common to them all. The miniature portraits 
on his coins are as light and delicate as if formed in wax, and 
herein resemble the most beautiful ancient coins." Such is 
Friedlander's somewhat too favourable judgment, for it is just 
the confused subjects of the reverses of his early medals, 
overcrowded with figures, that sin against the laws of the art. 
The master, it is true, improved in this respect during his 
Roman period. 

168 



Plate XXXIII 




LYSIPPUS, CANDIDA, CARADOSSO 



/'(«■(' p. i68 



The Medallists in Rome 



When Lodovico Sforza was taken prisoner by the French 
in 1499, and the splendour of the Court at Milan thus came to 
a sudden end, Caradosso followed his friend and fellow-artist, 
Bramante, who had already settled in Rome. Introduced by 
him as well as by Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, brother of il Moro, 
to the papal Court, he found under Julius II. and his immediate 
successors ample employment as goldsmith, medallist, and 
engraver, until his death. In proof of this we have the 
numerous coins of Julius II. and Leo X., struck from his dies. 
Of medals, on the contrary, we possess only one, representing 
Bramante (PI. XXXIV., i ; the second is a later copy), two with 
slightly different reverses of Julius II., and one of Cardinal 
Ascanio Sforza (its attribution on account of the different 
style and the different character of the letters, is not en- 
tirely incontestable). These Roman pieces are indisputably 
Caradosso's masterpieces ; in spite of the minute modelling 
and chasing, in which they already almost approach the 
struck medal, they render character by a genuinely monu- 
mental conception. We have only to compare them with the 
later medals of the Cinquecento in order to recognise their 

artistic superiority. The enlightened master is revealed also 

i6g 



Italian Medals 



in the designs on the reverses : not so much in the Bramante 

medal, with the dry forms of the architecture of St. Peter's, in 

affectation of the antique, in the background, as in the two 

medals of Julius II., with the model of the same building 

(fixing the appearance of the piece in the year 1506) and 

the Shepherd, who drives his flock into the safe fold (PI. 

XXXIV., 2). . 

Finally, we may here cite the large struck medal of the 

same pope with the conversion of Saul on the reverse 

(PI. XXXIV., 3), which among the remaining medals of 

Caradosso produced by the same method indisputably deserves 

the prize. It was apparently produced as an allusion to the 

revolt and subjugation of Alfonso I. of Ferrara in the years 

1 5 10-15 1 2. Connoisseurs, it is true, waver in their ascription 

between Francia and Caradosso ; a comparison with the last 

cast medal of Julius, however, is sufficient to convince the 

critic of the entirely surprising similarity of the portrait type 

in both — taking into consideration, that is to say, the different 

technique by which the two pieces are produced. The way, 

too, in which the edge of the stiff cope is bent round the head 

is precisely similar in both ; on the other hand, it is different 

170 



The Medallists in Rome 



from that on the medal of Alexander, which is probably due 

to Francia (PI. XIX., 5). Decisive, however, is the fact that 

our medal entirely corresponds with the coins, the dies of 

which were cut by Caradosso, so that in it we have to 

recognise the testone which he made for the coins in larger 

dimensions. The style of the reverse also has much greater 

resemblance to similar designs on the plaques and earlier 

medals of Caradosso, than to those of Francesco Francia. 

If, in conclusion, with the medals which, even although 

unsigned, are for other reasons accredited to our master, and 

of which we have just spoken, we rank the two of Cardinal 

Scaramuzza Trivulzio, we are induced to do so on stylistic as 

well as historic grounds. The portrait as well as the reverse 

of the larger example (PI. XXXIV., 4 ; that of the smaller 

is smooth), with the figure of Prudence, draped after the 

antique, walking over a dragon, indicates our artist by its 

modelling and extraordinarily fine chasing. The sitter, who 

like Caradosso himself belonged to Milan, was made Bishop 

of Como in 1508, was raised to the rank of Cardinal in 151 7, 

became Bishop of Piacenza in 1522, and on account of his 

knowledge of business was held in high esteem at the Curia. 

171 



Italian Medals 



In 1527 he was forced by the Sack of Rome to return to his 

native city, where he died soon after. His medals, the 

inscriptions of which designate him as Cardinal and Bishop 

of Como, must therefore have been produced between 151 7 

and 1522, and whom besides Caradosso can we cite who could 

have made them in Rome during this interval ? 

For the works of the master who was active here during 

the same period, and whom as the last of the Roman 

medallists we have now to consider, differ too much from the 

pieces in question to allow him to be taken into consideration. 

This master is Gian Pietro Crivelli (1463-1552), descended from 

the Milanese family of the name, in whom the goldsmith's 

art had been hereditary for generations, and who were able 

to boast of having given a pope to the Church in Urban III. 

as early as 1185. Our master, like so many companions 

of his craft from North Italy and Florence, had migrated to 

the Paradise of Goldsmiths," as Rome of the Renaissance 

has appropriately been called, before 1508, in order there to 

acquire renown and wealth, and in both respects was eminently 

successful. For, on the one hand, he became President of 

his Guild and papal Cavaliere, and was awarded the praise of 

172 




5 

CARADOSSO, GIAN PIETRO CRIVELLI 

/•Vice p. 172 



1 



The Medallists in Rome 



celeberrimus in urhe aurifex, as he is styled in a document ; 
on the other, he acquired property outside the gates of Rome 
and several houses within the city, of which the dwelling in 
the Via de' Banchi, which he built for himself in 1539 when an 
old man of seventy-five, is still preserved. The Turin Cabinet 
possesses a unique piece in a medal with his portrait (PI. 
XXXIV., 5), as is shown by his name signed in a cartouche 
on the reverse. Since he there appears as a man of fifty at 
least, it must have been produced during his Roman period, 
and is indeed probably a work of his own hand. For the 
unique medal of the Milanese provost, Benedetto Crivelli, 
evidently a relation of our Gian Pietro, preserved in the 
Brera, is in all points so closely related to that of Gian Pietro 
that the same artist must be accepted for both. And as one 
medal was cast in Milan and the other in Rome, whom can we 
with greater probability name as their creator than Gian 
Pietro Crivelli himself? True, the fact of his having exercised 
this branch of art has not been proved, but his renown as 
goldsmith goes far to justify the assumption. 



173 



THE STRUCK MEDALS OF THE CINQUECENTO 

I 

THE MEDALS OF THE MEDICEAN COURT 



THE STRUCK MEDALS OF THE 
CINQUECENTO 

I 

THE MEDALS OF THE MEDICEAN COURT 

N Florence more than elsewhere the practice of the 
medallic art in the Cinquecento was in closest 
dependence on the princely Court. Its repre- 
sentatives are the goldsmiths who were kept in full occupation 
by the lavish and plentiful commissions of the members of the 
Court, and of whom the city produced a series of excellent 
masters. In order to rivet their energies still more closely to 
the Court, the greater number were attracted to the grand- 
ducal mint, where they found assured and remunerative occu- 
pation as wardens, die-engravers, or strikers. Moreover, the 
special taste shown by some of the grand-dukes for coins 

and medals offered opportunities to the artists. Vasari 
N 177 




Italian Medals 



records of Cosimo I. that in his Guarda-roba — which we 
should call his ''Cabinet of Art" — he kept an immense 
number of gold, silver, and bronze medals, most beautifully- 
arranged. Of his successor Francesco we are told that he 
exhibited a part of the grand-ducal collection of coins and 
medals in the room of the Uffizi now known as the Tribuna, 
and allowed it to be open to the public — a fact which shows 
the high esteem in which he held these objects as works of 
art, and how important he considered it that laymen and 
artists should be able to enjoy them and gain instruction and 
culture by the sight. 

Apart from some masters, such as Salvatore dell' Avacchia, 
Vincenzo Lupicini, Costantino de' Servi, Domenico Santini, 
Raflfaello Casellesi, Francesco Mocchi, of whom only isolated 
medals, ascribed to them by recent research with more or less 
justification, are known, the earliest artist in Florence who 
claims our notice is Francesco Ortensi, called Dal Prato 
(15 1 2-1 562). He was a kind of universal genius, who worked 
not only as a goldsmith and medallist, but also as a sculptor 
in bronze, as armourer, and even as painter. Vasari, who 

praises him highly, mentions among the many medals which 

178 



i 



Medals of the Medici 



he is supposed to have made, one of Duke Alessandro Medici 
and a second of Clement VII. The former is no longer 
known ; the latter, however, has been preserved (PI. XXXV., 
i), a capable and vigorous work, in which the spirit of good 
art still breathes. The Christ bound to the column on the 
reverse is an allusion to the sufferings which were brought 
upon the Pope in the Sack of Rome. The piece must con- 
sequently be an early youthful work of Dal Prato's. 

Approximately contemporary with him are the two brothers 
Poggini, sons of an esteemed engraver of gems. The elder, 
Giovanpaolo (1518-1582), was employed by Cosimo I. as 
goldsmith as well as engraver of gems and dies. He went to 
Brussels in 1555, where he was commissioned by Philip II. 
to engrave the dies for the new coinage for the provinces of 
the Netherlands, and thence in 1560 to the Royal Court in 
Spain, where he remained until his death. Here he produced 
the only medals with which we are acquainted — a series of 
eighteen pieces of Philip II., his sister Juana of Portugal, and 
his four wives. In the reproduction of two of these, given in 
Plate XXXV., 3, the reader will be able to appreciate the minute 

delicacy of the workmanship, which is conspicuous even here, 

179 



Italian Medals 



and at the same time to enjoy the unusual vivacity, especially 
of the female portrait. 

Much more abundant is the work of the younger brother, 
Domenico (1520-1590), which includes no fewer than forty 
authenticated pieces, and about ten more which are ascribed 
to him. Appointed die-engraver to the Grand-Duke in 1556, 
he was employed not only as such, but also repeatedly as 
sculptor and decorator for festivals, in the latter capacity 
especially in the marriage ceremonial of Francesco, the suc- 
cessor to the throne, and Joanna of Austria in the year 1565. 
As examples of his medals, we give that of Cosimo I., struck 
in 1 561 (PI. XXXV., 2), as well as a second of Francesco 
(PI. XXXV., 4), which, since its reverse bears the portrait of 
his young wife, must have been produced soon after 1565. In 
the dry precision of the treatment of both portraits we perceive 
only too plainly that, while engaged on them, the artist kept 
the intention of making them serve for the dies of coins only 
too exclusively before his eyes. That he was capable of a 
much freer, more artistic conception is shown by his cast 
medals, of which, since it has entirely preserved the impress of 

the gifted improvisation of the wax model, we reproduce that 

180 



Medals of the Medici 



of the celebrated historian Benedetto Varchi (PI. XXXV., 5). 
Poggini spent the last five years of his life in Rome as Master 
of the Papal Mint. To this period belong the ten medals of 
Sixtus V. (PI. XXXV., 6), of the Pope's sister, and of Niccolo 
Todini, the Governor of S. Angelo ; the last with an original 
view of the fortress on the reverse. 

The most prolific of the Florentine medallists of the Cin- 
quecento — Pastorino excepted — was Pier Paolo Galeotti (died 
1584), called "II Romano," from the place of his birth, which, 
however, he exchanged in his early youth for Florence. We 
possess seventy-two authenticated pieces by his hand, of which 
no fewer than sixteen bear the portrait of Duke Cosimo I. To 
judge from the considerable number of Milanese and Genoese 
personages depicted, he appears to have worked in North 
Italy also. In 1575 he was appointed one of the die-engravers 
of the papal mint, but never seems to have made any pro- 
longed sojourn in Rome. From 1550 until his death he was 
employed at the grand-ducal mint. Vasari cites among his 
works twelve medals of Cosimo I., the reverses of which 
depict the most important works of peace executed during his 

reign — the sanitation of Pisa, the water-supply of Florence, 

181 



Italian Medals 



the foundation of a city on Elba, the building of the Lau- 
rentiana, the Palazzo Pitti, etc. All have been preserved : 
eight are even extant in marble replicas on a larger scale on 
the pedestal of a piece of sculpture, the purpose of which can 
no longer be ascertained, now standing in the Museum of the 
Refectory of the Ognisanti. We reproduce one of these 
medals (PI. XXXVI., i), and moreover give as demonstration 
of the master's manner that of the Genoese poet and philoso- 
pher Giambattista Grimaldi, with its pictorially conceived 
reverse, Prometheus chained to the rock (PI. XXXVI., 2). 

Gaspero Romanelli, who was born in Aquila, also worked 
in Florence between 1560 and 1580. A medal, which is no 
longer extant, of the author Antonio Francesco Doni is 
attested by Doni's letter of thanks to the artist ; four others 
of the scholar Pietro Vettori are attributed to him on the 
strength of the signature " G. R. F." The private and Court 
medallist of the two successors of Cosimo I., more especially 
of the third Grand-Duke Ferdinand I., was Michele Mazzafirri 
(1530 until 1597); besides two medals of Francesco I., we 
are acquainted with no fewer than eleven of Ferdinand and 

his wife Christine, of Lorraine, which were struck from the 

182 



Medals of the Medici 



master's dies (PI. XXXVI., 3 and 4). The filigree-like 
delicacy of the elaboration of all the accessories marks them 
as the works of a goldsmith's hand. Indeed, Mazzafirri's 
fame as goldsmith surpassed that of the medallist, and 
documents prove that he received a great number of com- 
missions for goldsmith's works, although of the works 
themselves none unfortunately remain. 

As we shall encounter the Florentine Giorgio Rancetti 
(whose work in his native city is only attested as goldsmith) 
as a medallist in Rome under Clement VIII. and Paul V. 
until 161 1, so, on the other hand, we must here place Gasparo 
Mola (died after 1649), a native of the territory of Como, 
since the greater number of his authenticated works are still 
extant in Florence, where the master is proved to have worked 
between 1598 and 1627. His skill as armourer and goldsmith 
is shown in the shield and parade helmet damascened with 
gold in the Museo Nazionale, which was long believed to be 
a work of Benvenuto Cellini. He appears before us as a 
medallist in a series of thirteen medals of the Grand-Dukes 
Ferdinand I., Cosimo II., and his wife Maria Maddalena of 
Austria (PI. XXXVI., 5), and, finally, of Ferdinand II. In 

183 



Italian Medals 



the conception of the physiognomy many of these are capable 
and fresh, while in the pompous and stiff arrangement they 
already sound the prelude to the excesses of the barocco in 
this respect. The extraordinary delicacy of the technical 
elaboration constantly demoralises the eye of the beholder 
whose taste is not quite assured. In the portrait of the 
widowed Grand-Duchess (after 162 1) the master produced a 
piece which, as far as simplicity and expression are concerned, 
is worthy to rank beside the best creations of the Cinquecento 
(PI. XXXVI., 7). His last years were spent in Rome, and 
we possess medals signed by him of Urban VIII. and 
Innocent X. of the years 1640 and 1649. 

The series of Florentine medallists closes with an artist 
who only worked outside his native city. After having served 
with the Spanish army in the Netherlands, Giuliano Giannini 
settled in Brussels about 1580 ; and as he was still living there 
in 1589, at an advanced age and as a pensioner of the Treasury 
of Brabant, it seems probable that he had spent the inter- 
vening years in the employment of the Mint at Brussels. Of 
signed medals by his hand we are acquainted with one of 
Ottavio Farnese and his wife Margaret of Parma ; two of their 

son Alessandro, Governor of the Netherlands ; and one of the 

184 



Plate XXXVI 




Medals of the Medici 



Duke of Alba. The last (PI. XXXVI., 6) is so life-like in 
conception and modelling that we are unable to allow it to 
pass as a restoration, as its date (1568) would show it to be. 
We are obliged, on the contrary, to assume that it was made 
by Giannini in the year 1568, while he still remained in the 
military service. 

If we review once more the achievements of the medallic 
art which flourished under the sun of Medicean favour, 
respectable though many of its productions may appear, we 
are conscious on the whole of a sad lack of individuality. 
What a wealth of artistic types, and — as its consequence — 
what an amount of variety, what diversity of artistic con- 
ceptions and forms, awake our surprise and compel us to ever- 
renewed admiration as we survey the masterpieces of the 
Quattrocento medallists ! Here, on the contrary, everything 
seems to have been produced in one and the same workshop — 
so monotonous, so devoid of individuality is the stamp borne 
by these productions. If it is permitted to judge the creators 
by their works, then these artists have failed to experience 
what Goethe considered the greatest happiness of mortals, and 
not knowing it themselves, have not been able to impart it. 

185 



Italian Medals 



II 

THE PAPAL MINT AND ITS MASTERS 

The custom of striking a portrait on coins was in modern 

times first revived by the popes. After Sixtus IV. had set the 

example to his successors, the papal mint found it necessary 

to employ artists who were better fitted to execute this demand 

than the ordinary workman of the mint. Thus we find 

engaged for this purpose goldsmiths and engravers of gems 

of the fame of a Simone di Giovanni and Pier Maria da 

Pescia, of Florence ; of a Paolo di Giordano and Leonardo 

Corbolini, of Rome ; of Lorenzo Grosso, of Genoa. But 

as early as the end of the Quattrocento medallists were also 

occasionally employed as die-engravers at the papal Zecca. 

We have seen that Francesco Francia struck the Bolognese 

coins for Julius II., that Caradosso did the like in Rome for 

the same pope and his successor, Leo X., that Vittore 

Gambello made the dies for coins during Leo's reign, and 

that under Clement VII., Benvenuto Cellini presided over the 

papal mint from 1529 until 1533. 

On his departure, in the reign of Paul III., his place as 

186 



The Papal Mint 



engraver of gems was filled until the year 1545 by Giovanni 

Bernardi, of Castelbolognese (i 496-1 553), famous even in our 

own days for the " Farnese Casket" in the Naples Museum. 

While, however, we possess more than thirty plaques made by 

him, the number of his medals is limited to three of the 

Emperor Charles V. and Clement VII., which are certified 

by Vasari as authentic works. The best of these, with 

Joseph and his brethren on the reverse, was struck on the 

occasion of the return of the Medici to Florence after the 

siege of 1529. At the same time as Bernardi, Leone Leoni 

Arezzo also worked for some years (i 537-1 540) at the papal 

mint, but since his activity mainly belongs to North Italy 

we shall more fitly consider him in the next chapter. 

On the other hand, in his artistic career Alessandro Cesati, 

il Grechetto (died after 1564), belongs entirely to Rome. 

Born in Cyprus of Italian parents, in 1538 he entered while 

young the house of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, uncle of 

Paul III., to the service of whose family he always remained 

faithful. He became Warden of the Papal Mint as early as 

1540, and retained the office under Julius III., Pius IV., and 

Paul IV., until 1561. He then returned to his island home, 

187 



Italian Medals 



where he soon afterwards died. Vasari extols him as an 

engraver of gems above all other masters of his time (some 

cameos of his are still extant), and also praises his medal of 

Paul III. with Alexander and the high priest on the reverse 

(PI. XXXVII., i), quoting the opinion attributed to Michael 

Angelo concerning it: "Now is the last hour of art come, 

since nothing better can be achieved." The romancer of 

Arezzo seems herein to have substituted his own opinion for 

that of his great patron. For even if we are forced to 

acknowledge the directness of conception and the expressive 

sureness of the modelling in the portrait, yet on the other 

hand, in the tasteless arrangement of the cope with the 

gigantic clasp, and still more in the scene on the reverse, 

the false and sickly manner and style of the later Cinquecento 

already make themselves apparent. The group of the high 

priest and his attendants may be tolerated, but the smart hero 

with the goat-like nose who kneels before him could never be 

held a just or worthy portrait of the great conqueror of the 

world. Nevertheless, the external skill of the composition 

cannot be denied. Besides this medal there are seven others 

of Paul III. and nine of Paul's successor, Julius III., as well 

i88 



1 



The Papal Mint 



as one of Alessandro Farnese, which in all probability belong 
to Cesati ; among them many which, in the unpretentious, 
simple modelling of the obverse and the more finished forms 
and harmonious conception of the reverse, surpass the piece 
just described. As proof of our assertion, the graceful reverse 
of one of the smaller medals of Paul, with the figure of the 
Securitas Populi Romani, may here find a place (PI. 
XXXVII., 2). It may be observed as a curious fact, that 
the jubilee medal of Julius III. of the year 1550, to which 
Vasari calls attention, "con un rovescio di quei prigioni che al 
tempo degli antichi erano ne' lor giubilei liberati," has lately 
come to light in a single example in the Museo Nazionale at 
Florence. 

Somewhat later than Cesati, the Milanese Giovanni Antonio 

de Rossi (151 7 until after 1575) appears in Rome. He came 

thither in 1544 from Venice, where he had worked as a gem 

engraver, and in the thirteen years of his sojourn produced 

medals of Pope Marcellus II. and Paul IV. (five pieces), 

which are still preserved. In 1557 he entered the service of 

Cosimo I., with a salary of two hundred ducats, in order to cut 

the large cameo on which is depicted the entire grand-ducal 

189 



Italian Medals 



family. Althoug'h in a fragmentary condition, this cameo is 

still preserved in the Cabinet of Gems in the Uffizi. Besides 

this, two medals of Henry II. of France, cast on the occasion 

of the conquest of Calais in 1558, and also that of the author 

Giovanni Battista Gelli, belong to his four years' residence in 

Florence. Returning to Rome in 1560, he became Warden of 

the Papal Mint in Cesati's place, and as such made not only 

dies for coins, but medals of Cardinal Carlo Borromeo (1563), 

Pope Pius IV. (seven pieces), Pius V. (nine), and Gregory 

XIII. (three pieces). The medal of Henry II. (PI. XXXVII., 

3) may give an idea of Rossi's somewhat rough treatment of 

the relief, which does not reveal the style of the renowned 

engraver of gems. 

Likewise in the latter years of Paul III., from 1546 

onwards, and under Paul's successors, Giovanni Giacomo 

Bonzagna (i 508-1 565), a native of Parma, served until his 

death as Master of the Roman Zecca ; after 1552 he was also 

Piombatore (the official who executed the papal bulls by 

stamping the lead seal upon them). The papal accounts 

contain the charges not only for his allowance, but for the 

works of goldsmithery and the medals which he made. Among 

190 



The Papal Mint 



the last figures an entry of fifty gold ducats for medals struck 
to commemorate the opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter's 
at the Jubilee of the year 1550. On this ground seven such 
medals, which we still possess, have been ascribed to the 
master. The inscription on his tomb extols him besides as 
"a distinguished imitator of antique coins" — and it is there- 
fore probable that many of the copies of Roman pieces, which 
have been preserved in such numbers until the present day, 
may date back to Bonzagna. 

We are better informed concerning the work of his brother 
Gianfederigo, who died after 1586. He was active as sculptor, 
goldsmith,' medallist, and die-engraver. In the last capacity 
he was occupied at the papal mint from 1554 until 1561 ; 
medals of his dating up to 1575 are, however, extant. As he 
usually signed his works with his name or an equilateral 
triangle, a list of them can be compiled ; there are more than 
fifty pieces, among which Paul HI. is represented by five, 
other members of the Farnese family by nine, Paul IV. by 
three, Pius IV. by ten, Pius V. by fourteen, and Gregory 
XIII. by five medals. Unfortunately the artistic quality does 

not correspond to the number ; they are works of desperate 

191 



Italian Medals 



dryness of technique and of commonplace conception, inspired 
solely by the dictates of routine. 

Somewhat later Parma supplied Rome with yet another 
artist in the person of Lorenzo Fragni, called "II Parmense " 
(died after 1618), who appears in the accounts of the papal 
mint in the years 1572, 1576, and 1586. He was the private 
medallist of Gregory XIII., whom he immortalised in no 
fewer than twenty-seven pieces, while of his successor Sixtus V. 
he produced only five. Besides these we are only acquainted 
with one other medal of Fragni — that of the well-known 
Cardinal Cristoforo Madruzzi, Bishop of Trent. He signed his 
medals indifferently with "LP.," " LAU. P.," " L. PARM," 
and between 1573 and 1586 with the date. The Paduan 
Ludovico Leoni is also proved by documents to have been at 
the papal mint during the same years. But only one of the 
many medals of Gregory XIII. bears his signature; the re- 
mainder must be sought for among the anonymous medals 
of this Pope. For the rest, we shall meet the master again 
at Padua, the chief seat of his activity. 

The two brothers Niccolo and Emilio de Bonis, who had 

apparently come from Venice, worked under Sixtus V. and 

192 



Plate XXXVII 





I'uce p. 192 



The Papal Mint 



the Popes who succeeded him. Niccolo is certified as having 
been die-engraver to the mint for the year 1591 ; his medals 
nevertheless are dated from 1580 until 1592. The earliest, 
and the only, medal which he struck of Gregory XIII. com- 
memorates his extension of the Collegium Germanicum 
founded by Julius III. Then follow five medals of Sixtus V., 
nine of Gregory XIV., seven of Innocent IX., and four of 
Clement VIII. The younger brother also placed his art at 
the service of the same Popes from 1590 until 1600, and 
struck three medals of Sixtus V., two of Gregory XIV., one 
of Innocent IX., and six of Clement VIII. The reverses of 
the last display the portraits of Philip II. and Philip III. of 
Spain, Henry IV. and his wife Maria de' Medici — in allusion 
respectively to the absolution of the King, the Peace of 
Vervins, the Edict of Nantes, and the marriage of Henry IV. 
(1600). 

The favourite medallist of the last-named Pope was, how- 
ever, Giorgio Rancetti {circa 1550-1611), whom we have 
already mentioned as one of the masters employed at the 
Medicean Court. After he had removed to Rome in 1594 

and been appointed engraver of coins to the Pope, he struck 
o 193 



1 



Italian Medals 



no fewer than twenty-five medals of Clement VIII., as well as 
one, in the last year of his life, of Paul V., Clement's second 
successor. We reproduce as an example of the master's 
manner one of his medals of Clement (PI. XXXVII., 4), 
which was struck to commemorate the reversion of the Duchy 
of Ferrara to the Pope on the death of Alfonso II. of Este, 
and of the Pope's entry into the city on May 8th, 1 598. The 
fact that the artist was unable to devise anything else for the 
reverse than a view of the city surrounded by its walls, which 
is besides altogether paltry and utterly devoid of monumental 
character, is significant of the poverty of the period in artistic- 
ally effective ideas. We must, however, do our master the 
justice to admit that all his reverses do not show the same 
insignificance and poverty of thought. Where he has to 
depict papal ceremonies, however, and allegories of Peace, the 
Faith, and subjects of the like nature, he errs, as a rule, in 
overcrowding the compositions with tiny figures, and thus 
making them confused ; or else satisfies himself with one stiff 
figure borrowed without scruple from the allegories which the 
painting and sculpture of his day produced in thousands upon 
thousands. 

194 



The Papal Mint 



In the foregoing pages we have named only the leading 
masters among the medallists of Rome. Besides these a 
number may be cited, some of whom are known to us by 
name — Marco Arco, Pallante, Giovanni Melon, Gaspare 
Cambio, Domenico de' Compagni, Bernardo Passero, and Bar- 
tolommeo Argentario ; some only by the initials — "M.B.R.," 
''C.S.," FN," FM "—with which they signed their works. 
Since their importance, not only with respect to the number of 
their productions, which was often limited to one or two pieces, 
but also with regard to the artistic value of these pieces, does 
not reach the level of the masters treated above, we must be 
satisfied with merely mentioning them. To two artists, how- 
ever, we must dedicate a few words on account of the speciality 
of their achievements. Towards the end of the Cinquecento, 
Giovanni Paladino produced a series of papal medals, ranging 
from Martin V. (died 1431) to Pius V. (died 1572), using as 
models the original contemporary medals which were forth- 
coming or the restorations of the Quattrocento, so that his 
pieces — as far at least as the likeness of the portrait is con- 
cerned — deserve consideration. The Milanese Giovanni Bat- 
tlsta Pozzi, who lived at the same time as Paladino, showed 

195 



Italian Medals 



himself less scrupulous ; as a supplement to Paladino's series, 
he produced a complete set of medals from St. Peter to 
Alexander V. (died 1410), in which he never consulted any- 
existing portraits, but let his imagination rule unchecked. 
His works consequently can claim no further interest. 

Ill 

THE MEDALLISTS OF PADUA AND MILAN 

In many respects essentially more independent of the 
general tendencies and of the development of the art of the 
Cinquecento than the medallic art of Florence and Rome was 
that of North Italy, more particularly in the two centres which 
we have now especially to consider — Padua and Milan. (With 
Venice up to the end of the sixteenth century we have already 
dealt, while Piedmont's contribution to our branch of art was 
so insignificant that we may well leave it out of consideration.) 

One of the main factors which go far to explain this 

phenomenon is the circumstance that one at least of these 

cities in question possessed no independent mint in the 

Cinquecento. Padua consequently fortunately escaped the 

196 



Padua and Milan 



demoralising influence which die-engraving exercised on 

the medallic art. Here, on the other hand, as in the very 

beginning of the Quattrocento, the example of antiquity ever 

challenged attention. Here in the middle of the Cinquecento, 

as we shall presently see, the systematic imitation, copying, 

not to say forgery, of antique works of plastic art, above all 

of coins, was cultivated. In Milan, on the contrary, the 

realism of Lombardy, which even in painting, at the time 

when mannerism was at its height in Tuscany, produced 

vigorous natures of the stamp of the Crespi and Procaccini, 

saved the medallic art from degeneration. The energetic 

individuality of some important masters helped it over the 

rocks of the most vicious mannerism. The fact that here 

more than elsewhere artists gave the preference to the cast 

over the struck medal, also naturally contributed to preserve 

to their creations the stamp of individual and artistically 

independent creations. 

We begin our cursory review with Padua and with the 

earliest of its masters who claim our notice, with Valerio 

Belli {circa 1468- 1546), who belonged, however, not to the 

city itself, but to neighbouring Vicenza. His fame as artist 

197 



Italian Medals 



is chiefly based on his excellence as an engraver of gems. 
This is proved by the so-called Medicean Casket, which is 
still preserved in the Uffizi, presented by Clement VII. to 
King Francis I. on the occasion of the marriage of Catharine 
de' Medici, formed of twenty-four panels of crystal, carved 
with scenes from the life of Christ ; it is further proved by 
thirty similar panels intended for a similar object, which were 
formerly private property (Pourtales Collection), but in our 
days have been scattered to the winds. Of his industry as 
a die-engraver, Belli himself informs us in his will, where he 
gives the number of pieces struck from dies which he made 
as 150, which corresponds, therefore, to at least half of this 
number of medals. The discovery during the sixties of the 
past century of an old list of the medals has made it possible 
to verify fifty of them. They are more or less free imitations 
of antique coins, in part independent devices in the taste of 
the antique, which especially in the reverses betray a remark- 
able intimacy with ancient art and a marvellous technical 
dexterity. We furthermore possess over fifty bronze plaques 
by Belli, some with Christian subjects, many of the latter 

copied from his intaglios. On the other hand, the number of 

198 



Padua and Milan 



medals dedicated to his contemporaries is very small. Chief 
among these is the characteristic portrait of himself, which 
exists in three replicas, differing in their reverses (PI. 
XXXVIII., 3). We have also the medals of Pietro Bembo, 
certified by two of his letters of the year 1532, consequently 
seven years before he was made Cardinal (PI. XXXVIII., 2). 
The dry treatment, particularly of the reverse, betrays only too 
clearly the hand accustomed to the work of gem-engraving. 
The figure on the reverse was always held to be the Arno ; 
not until our own days did A. von Sallet demonstrate that it 
was Bembo himself, as with stilus in hand, lying at the edge 
of a wood and on the bank of a stream, he indulges in his 
poetic thoughts, in precise accord with Horace's description 
[Odes, iv., 3). Some medals of Charles V., and of his wife 
Isabella of Portugal, are the only others ascribed to our 
artist. 

The Paduans, however, owe their fame in the medallic art 

of the Cinquecento above all to Giovanni Cavino [circa 1500- 

1570). He it was who, in company with the learned 

Alessandro Bassiano, brought into methodical practice that 

copying of the antique, which the French with a suggestion 

199 



Italian Medals 



of conscious and deliberate deception call " contre-fa9on." 

After antique originals, as also after the special historic and 

other information, furnished to him by his companion, Cavino 

produced hundreds of medals, in which he embodied the entire 

gallery of historic, literary, and poetic celebrities of the 

ancient world, and brought them to market with the greatest 

success. How many of his unsophisticated purchasers must 

have believed that in these productions they acquired genuine 

works of Roman antiquity ! It is significant that the master 

at least never did anything to shatter such belief ; for his name 

never appears on any of these imitations of antiquity, while 

he signed some at least of the medals which he struck of his 

contemporaries. Of such we can count forty. They bring 

before our eyes the ornaments of the learned world of Padua : 

Bassiano, Benavides, Battaglini, Dulci, Fracastoro, Passeri, 

Salvioni ; then a number of distinguished Venetians, who 

were either in the service of the republic at Padua, or were 

resident there; finally, of foreign notabilities, Julius III. and 

his brother, Baldassare del Monte. The medal of the Pope 

was struck on the occasion of the marriage of Philip II. to 

Mary of England, as the scene on the reverse bears witness. 

200 



Plate XXXVIII 




VALERIO BELLI. GIOV. CAVINO, LOD. LEONL etc. 



/•'"(■(• ]i. 200 



Padua and Milan 



As an example of the artist's manner, we give the double- 
portrait medal where he has depicted himself along with 
Bassiano (PI. XXXVIII., i), as also the medal of the 
Venetian poet and military hero, Francesco Quirini, where, in 
the fashion of his hair and beard, as well as of his costume, 
Quirini is depicted entirely in the manner of a Roman 
emperor (PI. XXXVIII., 4). 

To these we may add, as one of the finest products of 
Paduan medallic art, the medal of Francesco Commendone, 
struck by an unknown hand, but in manner akin to Cavino 
(PI. XXXVIII., 6). For not only on the score of style, but 
also on that of the age of the sitter, it must have been 
produced in Padua. Commendone lived until after his thirtieth 
year in Padua as the confidential friend of Luigi Cornaro, the 
sagacious author of the Vita Sobria, before entering the 
service of the Curia, where in the course of a brilliant career 
he soon became Cardinal (1565), and papal legate in Poland 
and at the Diet of Augsburg, but retired again to Padua and 
died there in 1584, sixty-one years old. Even in this medal 
the influence of the antique is evident on the obverse, not only 

in the draping of the bust, but also in the conception of the 

201 



Italian Medals 



portrait ; while the pleasing figure of Friendship gazing into 
the past and future, with the genius at her feet handing her 
a wreath, shows more of the sense of form and feeling of the 
Renaissance than of classic antiquity. 

We are acquainted with but few medals of Giovanmaria 
Mosca, who in his youth worked as a sculptor in Padua, and 
later went to the Royal Court of Poland, where he remained 
until his death (after 1573). The portraits of King Sigis- 
mund I., his wife Bona Sforza, and their son Sigismund II. 
are all dated 1532 and signed. Mosca had a fellow-countryman 
at his side in Poland — Domenico Veneziano, from whose hand 
likewise a medal of King Sigismund II., signed and dated 
(1548), is extant. 

A generation later we again find a prolific artist in Lodo- 

vico Leoni (1531 until 1612). We have already encountered 

him at the Roman Zecca under Gregory XIII., but more 

important is the work which he left behind him in his native 

city. Among the dozen pieces of which it consists (all dated 

and signed with the initials "L.L." or LVD. LEO") 

are some celebrities (Benavides, Sperone Speroni, Jacobo 

Sansovino) ; also, however, young students at the High 

202 



Padua and Milan 



School, such as the German Johann von Reichenberg and 
the ItaHan Baldassare d'Ossa, whose portrait we reproduce 
(PI. XXXVIII., 5) as a specimen of the master's work. 

Finally, of the work of Annibale Tosati, who worked to- 
wards the end of the sixteenth century, we are acquainted with 
a medal signed "A. P. F." (Annibale Padovano Fece), which 
is, moreover, attested by literary sources ; it represents the 
Paduan physician Girolamo Fabrizio d'Acquapendente. One 
of Speroni is cited by the same literary authority as the work 
of Tosati. This is not, however, either of the two of the 
celebrated Paduan author which have come down to us, one 
of these being due to Lodovico Leoni, while the other is 
signed '*F. S." 

Milan honours as the earliest, and at the same time the 
most important, of her Cinquecento medallists Leone Leoni 
{circa 1509- 1590), a native of Arezzo, and held by his contem- 
poraries in high esteem as sculptor in marble and bronze. His 
was one of those unrestrained, overflowing, forceful natures 
such as the decline of the Renaissance produced, and a 

appears before our eyes in so forbidding an aspect in the 

203 



Italian Medals 



picture drawn of himself by Benvenuto Cellini — the prototype 
of the class. The role which artistic envy and calumny and 
their effective aids, the dagger and poison, play in the life of 
Leoni is entirely omitted by Vasari, his compatriot and 
earliest biographer, and has only been brought to light by the 
research of present times. Leoni first meets us in Rome (1537- 
1540) as die-engraver in the papal mint. His earliest medal 
of Paul III., of the year 1538, which exists in three different 
variants, belongs to this period. In jealousy of his rival 
Cellini, he procured his imprisonment (1538), under the 
pretext that during the sack he had purloined the papal 
jewels. Benvenuto succeeded in clearing himself from the 
charge, and shortly after (1540) Leoni himself was brought 
to the galleys for an outrage committed on the German gold- 
smith Waldener. Owing to the protection of Andrea Doria, 
he nevertheless speedily regained his liberty, and in gratitude 
made the medal of his deliverer, one of his most vigorous 
works (PI. XXXIX., i), in Genoa in 1541. On one of its two 
different reverses he has placed a portrait of himself enframed 
in the chains of the galley-convict, on the other the galley and 

a boat bearing him away. Called to the mint at Milan the 

204 



Padua and Milan 



year following, he filled the post of Master there until 1545, 

and again from 1550 until his death. After passing sojourns 

in Venice, where he endeavoured to bribe assassins to remove 

a colleague from his path, in Parma (1546), where he was 

appointed by the Duke Chief Master of the Mint, in Rome 

(1547), where he executed a commission for the Zecca, he 

went to Brussels (1549) on the invitation of Charles V. There 

he received, as also on later visits in 1551 and 1556, a number 

of orders for statues and busts of members of the imperial 

family, which he executed partly in Brussels and partly after 

his return to Milan. These highly life-like works, enhanced 

by all the pomp of refined setting, are now found in the 

palaces and museums of Madrid ; some also in the imperial 

collection at Vienna. From 1558 until his death Leoni 

remained permanently at Milan in his palace, which is still 

preserved. The possession of this palace he owed to the 

favour of the Emperor, and he furnished it with works of art 

of every kind. Unfortunately he here again stained his name 

with another crime : he made a murderous attack on Titian's 

son, who had come to Milan to raise a large sum of money — 

apparently in order to rob him of the gold. The strangest part 

205 



Italian Medals 



of the matter is that he was able to commit the offence without 
having to expiate it in the smallest degree. To his latest days 
in Milan belongs also the pompous tomb of Giangiacomo 
Medici in the Cathedral, which he was commissioned to 
execute by Giangiacomo's brother, Pope Pius IV. (finished in 
1563)- 

The master's work comprises over fifty pieces. Among 

them are depicted the foremost celebrities of the time : besides 

Charles V., already mentioned, his sister and wife, Philip II., 

Cardinal Granvella, Alfonso and Francesco d'Avalos and 

Gonsalvo de Cordova (Governors of Milan), Pius IV., Titian, 

Pietro Aretino, Vasari, Bandinelli, Michael Angelo. The 

last-named medal (PI. XXXIX., 2) shows an entirely realistic 

conception of the old man of eighty-six, scarcely inferior in 

power to the Doria medal ; on the reverse — suggested by 

Michael Angelo himself — we see in a simple, well-arranged 

composition an old blind man led by his faithful dog. The 

document of March 24th, 1561, which the artist sent with four 

examples of his work to his immortal patron, still remains to 

us. The medal of the celebrated chancellor of Charles V., 

Cardinal Granvella (PI. XXXIX., 3), may complete our 

illustration of Leoni's manner. 

206 



1 



Plate XXXIX 




5 

LEONE LEONI, JACOPO DA TKEZZO 

Fai\- J). 2o6 



Padua and Milan 



Approximately at the same time, but certainly in a far less 
favoured position than Leoni, worked Jacopo Nizzola da 
Trezzo (1515-1587). Since he was distinguished not only as a 
sculptor and medallist, but also and more especially as an 
engraver of gems, it is doubtful whether we can consider 
him — as he has previously been considered to be — a pupil of 
Leoni. His earliest medal (1548) is that of the Cremonese 
military architect Gianello della Torre, who was in the service 
of Charles V. and Philip II. in the Netherlands and in Spain 
from 1550 onwards (PI. XXXIX., 4). In the vigorously 
handled, life-like portrait Trezzo closely approaches the best 
work of Leoni ; the reverse is stylised in the spirit of the 
antique, and is not wholly uninfluenced by the art of Michael 
Angelo. It represents the Fountain of Learning, whose 
streams, springing from an urn on the head of a female figure, 
are caught and eagerly swallowed by those thirsting for know- 
ledge. The medals of Isabella Gonzaga, the wife of Ferrante, 
and of her daughter Ippolita (1552), wife of the celebrated papal 
general Fabrizio Colonna, were also produced in Milan. In 
1555 Trezzo went to the Netherlands, made there five medals 

of Philip II. and his wife Mary Tudor (PI. XXXIX., 5), 

207 



Italian Medals 



and engraved the Seal of State. In 1559 he journeyed with 
the King to Spain, where he remained occupied with im- 
portant commissions in sculpture until the end of his life. Of 
this late period we only possess the medal of the English 
envoy Montagu (after 1560), that of Ascanio Padula, of whom 
nothing more is known (1577), and the architect of the 
Escurial, Juan de Herrera (1578). In their make and style 
these pieces are similar to the medal of Philip, and are far 
from attaining the effect and the artistic value of his earlier 
creations. 

A third who claims a place in the series of Milanese medal- 
lists is Annibale Fontana (1540 until 1587), a member of the 
great and well-known family of artists from the Ticino. He 
acquired his fame more especially as an engraver of gems and 
as sculptor, to which his works at and in S. Maria presso S. 
Celso in Milan testify. Two medals at least may, however, 
be safely attributed to him — that of Fernando Francesco 
d'Avalos II., a military captain of Philip II., and that of 
Giampaolo Lomazzo, the well-known painter, versifier, and 
writer on art. In the Trattato delta Pittura he mentions the 
medal of d'Avalos as a work of Fontana, and celebrated his 

own in one of his bombastic sonnets. 

208 



Padua and Milan 



In Pompeo Leoni also {circa 1535 until 1610), the son of 
Leone, the sculptor far outweighs the medallist. In his youth 

(1556) he went to Spain, and remained there, occupied with 
important commissions, until his death. Only from 1582-1592 
do we find him for a time in his native place. The Escurial 
and the palaces of Madrid still retain a great number of his 
works in marble and bronze — statues and busts of all the 
members of the royal family — which are in no wise inferior to 
those made by his father. To his early years in Milan belong 
the two signed medals of Fernando Castaldi and Ercole II. 
of Este ; in Spain he made those of the Infante Don Carlos 

(1557) , of his tutor, Honoratus Joannius, and of the private 
secretary to the King, Fernando de Lievana (1575). The first, 
which we reproduce (PI. XL., i), shows how far inferior 
Pompeo's vague manner was to the robust realism of his 
father — look only at the nerveless, weak figure of the Apollo 
on the reverse. Or did the artist perhaps wish thereby to 
symbolise the character of his hero ? 

We close the series of Milanese medallists with the two 

Abbondios, father and son, although their activity belongs 

almost entirely to other places. Four youthful works of 
p 209 



Italian Medals 



Antonio (1538-1591) alone remain to us of his Italian 
period : the medal of Jacopo da Trezzo is in any case earlier 
than 1555, before he went to the Netherlands and thence to 
Spain ; that of the jurist Panziruolo of Reggio, struck in 
1563; and two others of Antonfrancesco Doni and an unknown 
Giulio Rossi of Carpi. Antonio's remaining pieces (forty-one 
certain and four ascribed to him) belong to his sojourn in 
Prague, where he occupied a privileged position under 
Maximilian II. and depicted the entire Court circle, from the 
Emperor (PI. XL., 3) down to the Court architect, Ferra- 
bosco, and the Court physician, Thomas Jordan. "The 
characteristic of all these works is a most pleasing combination 
of the aristocratic character of the Roman Court, as expressed 
in bearing and external disposition, with an intimate study of 
nature, probably strengthened by the example of German 
medals, which comes out especially in the rendering of the 
physiognomy."^ 

On Antonio's death his son Alessandro (1580-1653) took 
his father's place in the favour of Rudolf II. and of Rudolf's 
successor, Matthias. He was especially esteemed for his 

1 G. Habich, in Helbing's Monatsherichte iiber KunstwissenscJiaft, i. p. 402. 



Plate XL 




3 

POMPEO LEONI. ANTONIO and ALESS. ABONDIO 

J''iice p. 2IO 



Padua and Milan 



portraits embossed in wax and then painted ; as a medallist 
he won repute only when after the death of the Emperor 
Matthias he entered the service of Maximilian of Bavaria. 
Munificently paid and honoured in the foremost circles as the 
type of the accomplished Court artist of the Seicento, he 
produced a great number of medals of the electoral prince; 
of Albert of Leuchtenberg ; of Ferdinand Archbishop of 
Cologne; Albert of Freising ; and many others. "They 
are all marked, like those of his father, by a distinguished 
conception, equally removed from all courtly stiffness and 
from insipid idealisation. More especially in the intellectual 
conception of the person depicted is revealed the lofty artistic 
nature, the great 'gratia' which his contemporaries extol in 
him." We must restrict ourselves to the reproduction of his 
highly spirited portrait of Maximilian at an advanced age 
(PI. XL., 2), since, strictly speaking, his works fall without 
our scope. With the mention of the master we have con- 
siderably overstepped the limits of the Cinquecento, to which 
our survey was originally restricted, and we now hasten to 
bring it to a close with this last important representative of 
Italian medallic art. 

211 



INDEX 



Abbondio, Alessandro, 210, 211 

— Antonio, 210 
Academy, Platonic, 130 
Acquapendente, Fabrizio di, 203 
Adriano Fiorentino, 110, 135 ff. 
Agrigentum, coin of, 33 
Agrippa, Giov. Guido, 80 
Alba, Duke of, 185 

Alberti, Leone Battista, 34, 35, 43, 

46 ; portrait of himself, 35 
Albizzi, Giovanna, 124, 127 
Aldus Manutius, 84 
Alexander the Great, 10, 72 
Alexander V., Pope, 90, 196 

— VI., Pope, 93, 171 

Alfonso I. of Aragon-Naples, 18, 28, 

32, 39. 40. 99. 156, 157 

— II. of Aragon, see Calabria, Al- 

fonso of 
Alidosi, Francesco, 93 
Amadeo da Milano, 36 
A. N., 73 

Ancona, Cyriac of, see Cyriac of 

Ancona 
Anjou, John of, 41 

— Ren6 of, 40, 41 

Anonymous Masters, Florentine, 
138 ff 

— Venetian, 84 ff. 

2 



A. N. T., 73 

Antico, 50 ff, 58 
Antiochus of Syria, 10 
Antonio da Brescia, Fra, 77, 78 
A. P. F., 203 
Aragon, Isabella of, 52 
Aragon-Naples, see Alfonso, Fer- 
dinand 
Arco, Marco, 195 
Aretino, Pietro, 82, 85, 206 
Argentario, Bartolomeo, 195 
Arion, 75 
Ariosto, 148 

Armand, Alfred, 23, 109, 115, 118, 

121, 127, 160 
Astalla, Julia, 49 
Atti, Isotta degli, 45 
Augustus, Emperor, 4, 158 
Aurelius, Marcus, 159 
Aurispa, Ippolito, 160 
Austria, Joanna of, 180 ; Maria 

Maddalena of, 183 
Avacchia, Sal v. dell', 178 
Averulino, Antonio, 105 f. 

Baldassare Estense, 38 
Balzo, Antonia del, 50 
Bandinelli, Baccio, 206 
Banducci, Bernardo, 123 



Italian Medals 



Barbara of Brandenburg, 47 
Barbarigo, Agostino, 84, 91 
Barbazza, Andrea, 90, gi 
Barbigia, Bernardo, 127 
Barbo, Pietro, see Paul II. 
Baroncelli, Niccol6, 36 
Bartolomeo, Fra, 134 
Bassiano, Alessandro, 199, 200 
Battaglini, 200 
Beatrice da Siena, 148 
Bellano, Bartolomeo, 60 fF. 
Belli, Valerio, 197 ff. ; portrait of 

himself, 199 
Bellini, Gentile, 77, 78, no 

— Giovanni, 78 
Bembo, Pietro, 144, 199 
Benavides, 200, 202 
Bentivoglio, Giovanni, 90, 91, 92 

— Sante, 115 
Berardi, Domenico, 86 
Berenice, 72 

Berlin Cabinet, 44, 47, 58, 120, 129, 
133 

Bernard of Saxony, 5 

Bernardi, Giovanni, da Castel- 

bolognese, 187 
Bernardino of Siena, San, 37 
Berry, John of, 7, 18 
Bertoldo di Giovanni, 109 ff, , 135 
Biblioth^que Nationale (Paris), 34 
Bode, Wilhelm, 54, in, 117, 127, 

129, 134 

Boldii, Giovanni, 47, 75 ff. ; portrait 

of himself, 76 
Boleslav of Poland, 5 
Bologna, 86 ff. 



Bolzenthal, Friedrich, 22 
Bonacolsi, see Antico 
Bonatti, Francesco, 59 
Bonis, Emilio de, 192 

— Niccolo de, 192 
Bonzagna, Gian Federigo, 191 

— Giovan Giacomo, 190 
Borgia, Caesar, 132 

— Lucrezia, 54, 55, 144 
Borromeo, Carlo, 190 
Bossi, Antonio, 85 

; Botticelli, Sandro, 112, 122, 124, 

139 
Bracteate, 5 
Bramante, Donato, i6g 
Brandenburg, Barbara of, 47 
Brescia, Fra Antonio da, 77, 78 

1 Brigonnet, Robert, 164 

\ Briosco, Andrea, il Riccio, see 

I Riccio, Andrea 

British Museum, 107, 131, 133 

' Burckhardt, Jacob, 34, 125 

! Burgundy, Antony of, 120 

— Charles the Bold of, 120, 163 

— Mary of, 163 

Caballo di Constantino, 159 

Calabria, Alfonso of, 108, in 
I Callxtus III., Pope, 107 
! Cambio, Gaspare, 195 
I Camelio, see Gambello 

Cameo of the Uffizi, 189, 190 
' Candida, Giovanni, 161 ff. 

Caracalla, Emperor, 75 

Caradosso, Cristoforo Foppa, 93, 
94, 118, 167 ff., 186 



Index 



Caraglio, Giangiacomo, 68 
Carlos, Don, Infante of Spain, 209 
Caroto, Gian Francesco, 64, 150 
Carrara, Francesco I. and II., 8 ff. 
Casali, Catelano, 162 
Casellesi, RaflFaello, 178 
Castaldi, Ferdinando, 209 
Castel Nuovo (Naples), 39 
Casting of Medals, 12 f. 
Cavalli, Gian Marco, 58, 59 
Cavino, Giovanni, 199 fF. ; portrait 

of himself, 201 
Cellini, Benvenuto, 143, 167, 183, 

186, 204 
Cennini, Domenico, 131 
Cesati, Alessandro, il Grecchetto, 187 
Charles V., Emperor, 65, 149, 187, 

199, 205, 206, 207 

— VIII. of France, 84, 91, 127, 

138, 164 

— the Bold, 120, 163 
Chasing of Medals, 13, 88 
Christian of Denmark, 48 
Clemens Urbinas, see Urbino 
Clement VII., Pope, 143, 144, 179, 

186, 187, 198 

— VIII., Pope, 183, 193 
Collegium Germanicum, 193 
CoUeoni, Bartolomeo, 74, 90 
Cologne, Ferdinand Archbishop of, 

211 

Colonna, Fabrizio, 207 

— Vittoria, 50 

Colonna-Gonzaga, Ippolita, 207 
Commendone, Francesco, 201 
Commodus, Emperor, 10 



Compagni, Domenico de', 195 
Concordia Augusta, 41, 158 
Constantine the Great, 6, 29 
Constantius, 77, 8g 
Contorniates, 4, 5 
Coradini, M., 38 
Corbolini, Leonardo, 186 
Cordova, Gonsalvo de, 206 
Cornaro, Catarina, 144 

— Luigi, 201 

Corniuole, see Giovanni delle Cor- 

niuole 
Correggia, Jacoba, 54 
Correggio, Niccolo da, 90 
Council of Ferrara, 29 
Crespi, 197 
Crispus, see Riccio 
Cristoforo di Geremia, 155 ff. 
Crivelli, Benedetto, 173 

— Gian Pietro, 172 
C. S., 195 

Cyriac of Ancona, 72 

Dagobert I., 6 
D'Avalos, Alfonso, 206 

— Ferrante, 50 

— Francesco, 206 

— Franc. Fernando II., 208 

— Inigo, 31 
Denarii, 5 

Denmark, Christian of, 48 
Domenico Veneziano, 202 
Donatello, 46, 60, 110, 115 
Donati, Lucrezia, 121 

— Atalanta, 148 
Donato, Girolamo, 63 



215 



Italian Medals 



Doni, Antonio Francesco, 182, 210 

Doria, Andrea, 204 

Dreyfus, Gustave, 21, 34, 161 

Diirer, 81 

Duici, 200 

Duziari, Silvestro, 119 

" Eagle" Medallist, 128 ff. 
Enzola, Francesco, 80, 96, 97 
Erbstein, Julius, 135 
Ermine, order of the, 98 
Essais, 10 

Este of Ferrara, 18, 92 

— Alfonso I,, 54, 55, 120, 170 

— Alfonso II., 149, 194 

— Baldassare, 38 

— Borso, 36, 37, 38 

— Ercole I., 38 
II., 144, 209 

— Ippolito, 149 

— Lionello, 32, 36, 119 

— Sigismondo, 119 
Eugenius IV., Pope, 156 

Fabrizio, Girolamo, d'Acquapen- 

dente, 203 
Fano, Pietro da, 46, 47 
Farnese Casket, 187 

— family, 95 

— Alessandro, 184 

— Alessandro, Cardinal, 96, 187 

— Ottavio, 149, 184 

— Pierluigi, 148 
Feltre, Vittorino da, 31 
Ferdinand I. of Aragon-Naples, 39, 

109, 136, 137 

— II., of Aragon-Naples, 136, 137 



Ferdinand I., Emperor, 150 

— Archbishop of Cologne, 211 
Ferrabosco, 210 

Ferrara, 29, 35 ff., 55, 89 
Ficino, Marsilio, 130 
Filangieri, see Candida 
Filarete, see Averulino 
Fiorentino, Adriano, see Adrian© 
Fiorentino 

— Niccol6, see Niccol6 Fiorentino 
Florence, 19, 20, 103 ff. , 177 ff. 

F. M., 195 
F. N., 195 

Foligno, Lodovico da, 118 
Fontana, Annibale, 208 
Foppa, Cristoforo, see Caradosso 
Fornovo, 91 

" Fortune " Medallist, 128 
Forzetta, Oliviero, 71 
Foscari, Francesco, 73 
Fra Antonio da Brescia, 77, 78 
Fracastoro, 200 

Fragni, Lorenzo, il Parmense, 192 
Fra Mauro, 73 

Francia, Francesco, 92 ff., 114, 170, 

171, 186 
Francina, F., 54 

Francis I. of France, 65, 165, 198 
Frederick III., Emperor, 112 

— the Wise of Saxony, 135 
Freising, Albert von, 211 
Friedlander, Juhus, 23, 32, 43, 56, 

64» 66, 93, 98, 99, 109, 114, 115, 

118, 157, 168 
Frundsberg, 140 
F. S., 203 



Index 



Galba, tinperor, lo 


Granvella, Cardmal, 206 




Galeotti, Pier Paolo, il Romano, i8i 


orati, \^ario, 00, 91 




LiamDciio, vitiore, 5'-') 7° loO , 


Graziadei, Antonio, 112, 163 




portrait of himself, 79 


Graziani, Agosto, 138 




Gante, Pippo, 51 


Grecchetto, see Cesati 






vjrccii, V, * * • , * 




Geremia, Cristoforo di, 155 


Gregory XIII., Pope, 190, 


191, 


Ghiberti, Lorenzo, 75 


192, 202 




l■^Vl1flot^/^Ol 1 1 fvi £i 1 f^f\ T 

vjniriciiiud.ju J i.-'uiiiciiico J i 


— Aiv., rope, 193 




Giannini, Giullo, 184 


C 1} T? tQo 
Ur. K. r., 102 




Gianozzi, see Ra,ng"one, Tomaso 


Grimaldi, Giov. Battista, 182 




frinrHjino Paolo HJ tS^^ 






Giovanni (Medici) delle Bande nere, 


— Domenico, 56, 57, 79, 84 




1 40 


— iviarino, oo 




— rsAT'i'OirijO Hi CAA Ts Ar*t"/^ 1 r1 
JJCI LUIUU Ulj aCC JJClLUllJU 


— Jrlciro, 04 




— delle Corniuolej 133 


Gritti, Andrea, 78, 95 




— Simone di, i86 


Grosso, Lorenzo, 186 




Giustiniani, Orsato, 74 


G. 1. 77 




Goethe, 20, 33, 43, 87, 91, 117, 149 


Guarini, Battista, 149 




— iviubcum, 20, 21, 145 


Guarino, 42 




ounzag^d, 01 ivianiua, 10 


Guazzalotti, Andrea, 106 ff. 




\^ecnia, jO, 33 


Guidi, Giovanantonio, 129, 130 




iZilKZKJUUl cLy ^ 


Guidizzani, Marco, 73> 74 




H pn 0*0 T A r\ 

X d\U\^L i- * , M-^ 


vjun"niciai, 13^ 




— x' cue rig u 11*, 1 so 






— v_jici.li x' r<iiioc3Cu 1., 00 


Habich, G, , 210 




— Gian Francesco II., 4^» 9^ 


Hadrian, Emperor, 38 




— vjid.li r rd.iiccscu oi oauioneria, so 


Henry I., Emperor, 6 




— GiiP'liplmn T cn 


n.ciiiy ill Kji pictiicc, lyu 




— Isabella (Este-), 52 


Henry IV. of France, 193 




— Isabella, 207 


Heiss, Alois,23,43, 109, 115, 118 


127 


— Lodovico, 46, 47, 48, 88, 97 


Heraclius, Emperor, 6, 28 




— Maddalena, 48 


Hercules intaglio, 141 




— Margaret, 150 


Herrera, Juan de, 208 




Gotha Cabinet, 135 


" Hope" Medallist, 123, 127, 128, 


130 


Graces, the three, 124 


Hutten, Ulrich von, 125 





217 



I 



Italian 



Medals 



Ilario, Pier Jacopo, see Antico 
Imperial Medallions, 4, 6, 7, 28 
Imprese, 96, 98 
Innocent VIII., Pope, 114 

— IX., Pope, 193 

— X., Pope 184 
Isabella of Aragon, 52 
Isabella of Portugal, 199 
Isaia da Pisa, 51 

Isotta degli Atti da Rimini, 45, 46 

Jeanne de Laval, 40 
Jesuallus, Militias, 161 
Joanna of Austria, 180 
Joannius, Honoratus, 209 
John Palaeologus, 29, 31 
Jordan, Thomas, 210 
Juana of Portugal, 179 
Julius II., Pope, 52, 80, 92, 93, 153, 
169, 170, 186 

— III., Pope 187, 188, 189, 193, 200 

Lancilotti, Francesco, 138 
Lau., P., 192 
Laurana, Francesco, 39 flf. 
Laval, Jeanne de, 40 
L. C. M., 128 
Lemmi, Villa, 124 
Lenormant, Charles, 22 
Leo X., Pope, 143, 169, 186 
Leone, Ambrogio, 167 
Leoni, Leone, 187, 203 ff. 

— Lodovico, 192, 202, 203 

— Pompeo, 209 
Leuchtenberg, Albert of, 211 
Lichtwark, Alfred, 17 

2 



Lievana, Fernando de, 209 
Liomparda, Maddalena, 82 
Lippi, Filippino, 54 
Lixignolo, Giacomo, 38 
L. L. , 202 

Lodovico da Foligno, 118 
Lodovico il Moro, see Sforza, Lodo- 
vico 

Loehr, A. R. v., 17 
Lollio, Alberto, 149 
Lomazzo, Gian Paolo, 208 
London, see British Museum, Rosen- 
heim, Salting 
Loredano, 80 

Lorraine, Christine of, 182 
Louis XI. of France, 40, 41, 164 
Louis the Pious, 6 
Louvre, 34, 124, 129 
L. P., 192 
L. Parm., 192 
LVD. LEO., 202 
Lupicini, Vincenzo, 178 
Lysippus, 137, 159 flf. 

Madruzzi, Cristoforo, 192 

Maestri, Adriano de', see Adriano 

Fiorentino 
Maffei, Timoteo, 43 
Magdalena, Mantuana, 50 
Majano, Benedetto da, 129 
Malatesta Novello, 31, 33, 88 
— Sigismondo, 31, 44, 45 
Malipieri, Pasquale, 47 
Malvezzi, 86 
Manfredi, 96 
Mantegna, 46, 59, 63 



Index 



Mantua, 46 fF., 91 
Mantuana, Magdalena, 50 
Manutius, Aldus, 84 
Marasca, Gian Francesco, 160 

— Giulio, 160 
Marcellus II., Pope, 189 
Marcillat, Guillaume, 145 
Marco, San, Museum of, 1 10 
Marcus Aurelius, 159 
Marescotti, Antonio, 37, 89 
Margaret of Parma, 149, 184 
Maria Maddalena of Austria, 183 
Mars, sign of, 141 

Marsyas, judgment of (intaglio), 
75 

Martin V., Pope, 195 
Marx, Roger, 17 
Mary Tudor, 200, 207 
Massimo, Francesco, 160 
Matthias, Emperor, 210, 211 
Mauro, Fra, 73 

Maximilian I., Emperor, 58, 65, 163, 
164 

— II., Emperor, 210 

— of Bavaria, 210 
Mazzafirri, Michele, 182 
M. B. R., 195 
Medagliere Mediceo, 20 
Medallions, Roman, 4, 7 
Medallist, the " Eagle," 128 flf. 

— the *' Fortune," 128 

— the " Hope," 123, 127, 128, 130 

— of the mark W. , 137 

— of 1523, 85 

Medallists, Anonymous Florentine, 
138 ff. 



Medallists, Anon. Venetian, 84 ff. 
Medici Casket, 198 

— of Florence, 19 
— - Grand Dukes, 20 

— Alessandro, Duke, 141, 149, 179 

— Catherine de', 198 

— Cosimo the Elder, 19, 115, 130 

— Cosimo I., Grand Duke, 140, 

142, 149, 178, 179, 180, 181, 
182, i8g 

— Cosimo II., Grand Duke, 183 

— Ferdinand I., Grand Duke, 183 

— Ferdinand II., Grand Duke, 183 

— Filippo de', 112 

— Francesco I., Grand Duke, 146, 

178, 180 

— Gian Giacomo, 206 

— Giovanni di Cosimo, 117 

— Giovanni di Giovanni (delle bande 

nere), 140 

— Giovanni di Lorenzo, 122, 123 

— Giuliano di Lorenzo, Duke of 

Nemours, 139 

— Giuliano di Piero, 112, 122 

— Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco, 139 

— Lorenzo di Piero, Duke of Urbino, 

139 

— Lorenzo the Magnificent, 19, 110, 

118, 120, 121, 130 

— Lucrezia, 149 

— Maria de', 193 

— Piero di Cosimo, 117, 118 
Melioli, Bartolomeo, 48 
Mellini, Pier Paolo, 161 
Melon, Giovanni, 195 
Memling, Hans, 120 



2ig 



Italian Medals 



Menadier, Julius, 12 
Michelangelo, no, 139, 140, 188, 

206, 207 
Michelozzo, 115, 116 
Michiel, Niccol6, Pi. xv., 4 
Miette, Jean, 163 

Milan, 18, 51, 89, 106, 168, 196 
203 fF. 

Milanesi, Gaetano, 128, 131 
Milano, Amadeo da, 36 

— Pietro da, 39, 41 
Mirandola, Pico della, 125 
Mocchi, Lorenzo Ciglia, 128 

— Francesco, 178 

Modena Cabinet (unique medal), 

161 
Mohsen, 22 

Mohammed II,, 43, 61, 77, no 
Mela, Gasparo, 183 
Monferrato, Bonifazio da, 64, 150 
Monte, Baldassare del, 200 
Montefeltre, Elisabetta, 138 

— Federigo, 91, 97, 98, 157 
Moro, Cristoforo, 73 

— Lodovico il, see Sforza, Lodovico 
Moroni, Giov. Battista, 78 
Morosini, Alfonso, 161 

Mosca, Giovanmaria, 202 
Miintz, Eugene, 76 
Musotti, 92 

Nantes, Edict of, 193 

Naples, 39 f. , 136. See also Alfonso, 

Ferdinand. 
Nassaro, Matteo del, 68 
Nero, Seal of, 75 



Niccol6 Fiorentino, 115, ii9fF. , 126, 

127, 128, 129 
Nicholas V., Pope, 107 
Nizzola, Jacobo, see Trezzo 

Ognisanti, Museum of (Florence), 
182 

Ordelaffi, 96 
Orsini, Girolamo, 148 
Ortensi, Francesco, called dal Prato, 
178 

Ossa, Baldassare d', 203 
Otranto, 108 

Padua, 8 ff., 59 ff., 196 ff. 
Padula, Ascanio, 208 
Pagagnotti, Alessandro, 128 
Paladino, Giovanni, 195 
Palaeologus, John, 29, 31 
Palazzo di Venezia (Rome), 19, 157 
Pallante, 195 
Panziruolo, 210 

Papal Medals, 107, 186 fF. ; series 

of, 195, 196 
Paris, see Bibliotheque Nationale, 

Dreyfus, Louvre, Valton 
Parma, 96 

— Margaret of, 149, 184 
Parmense, see Fragni 
Parthenius, see Aurispa 
Passed, 200 

Passero, Bernardo, 195 
Pasti, Benedetto, 43 

— Matteo, 35, 42 ff., 77, 89, 97 
Pastorino de' Pastorini, 103, 145 ff., 

181 



Index 



Patina, 14 

Paul II., Pope, 18, 61, 72, 108, 157 

— III., Pope 95, 148, 186, 187, 188, 

189, 190, 191, 204 

— IV., Pope, 189, 191 

— v.. Pope, 183, 194 

Paulus de Ragusio, see Ragusa 
Pazzi conspiracy, 112 

— medal, 112, 113 
Perriers, Guillaume des, 165 
Pescia, Pier Maria da, 186 
Peter, Saint, 196 

Peter's, Saint, 170; door of, 106, 

191 
Petrarch, 8 
Petricini, 38, 97 
Petrus domo Fani, 46 
Pfeffinger, Degenhart, 135 
Philethicus, Marinus, 160 
Philip II., 179, 193, 200, 206, 207, 

208 
-III., 193 
Pietro da Fano, 46 
Pietro da Milano, 39, 41 
Pio, Emilia, 138 
Pisanello, see Pisano 
Pisano, Vittore (Pisanello), 11, 27- 

40, 42 ff., 46 flf., 60, 63, 75, 77, 

87 ff., 106, 108, 160 
Pius II., Pope, 107, 108 

— IV., Pope, 187, 190, 191, 206 

— v., Pope, 190, 191, 195 
Platonic Academy, 130 
Poggini, Domenico, 180 

— Giovanpaolo, 179 
Poggio Imperiale, 109 



Poland, Boleslav of, 5. See also 
Sigismund, Sforza (Bona) 

Poliziano, Angelo, 125, 126 

Pollaiuolo, Antonio, 112 ff. 

Polo, Domenico di, 141 

Pomedello, Gian Maria, 65, 65 ; por- 
trait of himself, 65 

Pontano, Gioviano, 137 

Ponte, Lodovico da, 65 

Portugal, Isabella of, 199 

— J nana of, 179 

Pozzi, Giov. Battista, 195 
Prato, dal, see Ortensi 
Procaccini, 197 
Proofs, 10 
Puccini, Niccolo 123 

Quirini, Francesco, 201 

— Girolamo, 81 

Ragusa, Paolo da, 98, 158 
Raibolini, see Francia 
Rancetti, Giorgio, 183, 193 
Rangone, Guido, 83 

— Tomaso, 83 

Reichenberg, Johann von, 203 
Ren6 of Anjou, 40, 41 
Riario, Girolamo, 130 

— Ottaviano, 131 

— Raffaello, 137, 161 

Riccio, Andrea Briosco il, 60, 62, 

63 ; portrait of himself, 62 
Rimini, 18, 44 ff. See also Malatesta 
Robbia, Andrea della, 132 

— Fra Ambrogio della, 132 

— Fra Luca della, 132 



Italian Medals 



Romanelli, Gaspero, 182 


Sanuto, Letizia, 110 




Romano, see Galeotti 


Sarzanella, Antonio, 90 




— Giancristoforo, iq, i;i ff./7Q, ikk 


Savelli, Bartolomeo, 89 




Rome, is^ fF. , 186 fF. 


Savonarola, Girolamo, 132 




Roselli, Antonio, 61 


Saxony, Bernard of, 5 ; Fred 


erick 


Rosenheim, M., 21 


the Wise of, 135 




Rossi, Bernardo de', 93. 


Scarampi, Lodovico, Cardinal, 




— Giov. Antonio, de', i8g 


159 




— Giulio, 210 


Schliefer, Nicholas, 75 




— Maddalena, de', 54 


Schlosser, Julius von, 11 




— Pietro de', 97 


Securitas Populi Romani, 189 




Rovere, Clemente della, 165 


Septimius Severus, Emperor, 10 


— Gianfrancesco, 165 


Servi, Costanzo de', 178 




— Francesco della, 50, 93 


Sessa-Michiel, Isabella, 65 




— Giuliano della (Julius II.), 165 


Sesto, Marco, 10, 11, 72 




Roverella, Cardinal, 123 


Sforza of Milan, 18, 37, 92 




Royzelli, see Roselli 


Sforza, Ascanio, 169 




Ruberto, Gianfrancesco, 49 


— Bianca Maria, PI. xiii., 4 




Rudolf II., Emperor, 210 


— Bona, 118, 119 




Ruffffieri, q2 


— Bona, of Poland, 202 






— Francesco, 37, 89, 98, 106, 


109, 


Saint Peter's, see Peter's 


167, 168 




Sallet, A. von, ?, 6, 8'?, 199 


— Costanzo, 97 




Salting, George, 21 


— Galeazzo Maria, 118 




Salviati, Bernardo, 123 


— Giangaleazzo Maria, 52 




Salvioni, 200 


— Ginevra, 92 




Sandella, Adria, 85 


— Lodovico, il Moro, 52, 168, 


169 


— Caterina, 85 


Sforza-Riario, Catarina, 130- 


-132, 


Sangallo, Giuliano, 142 


140 




— Francesco, 139, 142 fif. ; portrait 


Siena, Beatrice da, 148 




of himself, 142 


— Pastorino da, 145 ff. 




San Marco, Museum of, 110 


Sigismund I. of Poland, 202 




Sansovino, Jacobo, 202 


— II. of Poland, 202 




Santamaria, Antonio da, 160 


Simone di Giovanni, 186 




Santini, Domenico, 178 


Sixtus IV., Pope, 78, ig8, 186 




Sanuti, 90 


— v., Pope, 181, 192, 193 





222 



Index 



Socino, Bartolomeo, 67 
Spagnoli, Battista, 58 ; bronze bust, 
59 

Sperandio of Mantua, 39, 87 ff., 96, 

109, 134 
Speroni, Sperone, 202, 203 
Spes Augusti, 41 
Spinel, Nicolas de, 120 
Spinelli, Andrea, 80, 81 

— Niccolo di Forzore, see Niccolo 

Fiorentino 
Springer, Anton, 34 
Strozzi, Filippo, 12, 128 

— Nonnina, 127 
Strozzi Palace, 129 

Struck Medals, 11, 14, 80, 97 

Talpa, Bartolomeo, 49 
Tanagli, 122 

Tarentum, didrachm of, 75 

Teperello, Franc. Maria, 64 

Testoni, 10, 58, 94, 171 

Theodoric, 4 

Tintoretto, 85 

Titian, 148, 205 

Titus, Emperor, 84 

Tivoli, Temple of Vesta at, 41 

Todini, Niccol6, 181 

Tornabuoni, Giovanni, 126 

— Lorenzo, 124 

Torre, Beatrice, della, 67 

— Gianello della, 207 

— Giulio della, 66 ff. ; portrait of 

himself, 67 
Tosati, Annibale, 203 
Toscani, Giovan Luigi, 160 | 

22 



Traversari, Ambrogio, 72 
Trezzo, Jacobo Nizzola da, 207, 
210 

Trivulzio, Scaramuzza, 171 
Trotti, Jacobo, 89 
Tudor, Mary, 200, 207 
Turin Cabinet, 47, 173 

Udine, Agosto Graziani da, 138 
Urania, 137, 138 

Urbino, 18, 97. See also Monte- 

feltre, Rovere (Franc, della) 
Urban III., Pope, 172 

— VIII, Pope, 184 
Urbino, Clement of, 97, 157 

Vallardi Codex, 28, 33 

Valton, Prosper, 9, 21, 160 

Varchi, Benedetto, i8i 

Vasari, Giorgio, 112, 114, 115, 129, 

132, 133. 167, 189, 204, 206 
Venezia, Palazzo di (Rome), 19, 157 
Veneziano, Domenico, 202 
Venice, 71 ff. 

— (St. Mark's), 107 
Venturi, Adolfo, 34 
Verona, 27 ff., 42 ff., 63 ff. 
Verrocchio, Andrea, 126 
Vervins, Peace of, 193 
Vetri, Domenico de', 141 
Vettori, Pietro, 182 
Vienna Cabinet, 52, 58, 119 
Villa Lemmi, 124 

Vitali, Francesco, 160 
Vitellius, Emperor, 9 
Vittoria, Alessandro, 81 ff. 



Italian Medals 



Vittorino da Feltre, 31 
Volterra, Raffaello da, 159, 162 

W., the Medallist, 137 
Waldener, 204 

Weimar Dilettanti, 45, 61, 76, 115 



Winchester, see Green (F.W.) 

Zacchi, Giovanni, 95, 96 
— Zaccaria, 95 
Zani, Girolamo, 80 
Zantani, Leonardo, 84 



PLYMOUTH 
WILLIAM BRENDON AND SON 
PRINTERS 



(Meda ^^^^^ FABRICZY (C. von). Italian medals. London, 1904, in-4, relie pleine 
e nm toUe editeur. (223 pp.). 40 planches hors-texte offrant environ 200 reproduc- 
tions. Rousseurs. ^jv 



of the Cinquecento. — Chamberlin 
1887. 



4 



GETTY CENTER LIBRARY 




3 3125 00594 9173